Feature: Electric coops can learn a lot from Leyeco II experience
Tacloban City (October 6) -- Electric cooperatives can learn a lot from the Leyte II Electric Cooperative (LEYECO II) experience - from being one of the worst electric cooperatives in 1994 to being number one today.
Incorporated and registered with the National Electrification Administration on October 26, 1975, LEYECO II made a dramatic turnaround, from a beleaguered to a top notch electric cooperative (EC), starting with its localization on July 18, 1994, Atty. Jerry Gwen Conde, the general manager of LEYECO II reminisced.
In nearly twenty years of existence, the electric cooperative's performance was neither here nor there despite the numerous built-in viability factors and potentials for growth that it possesses like compact size of area coverage; generally flat and hospitable terrain with the necessary distribution system already in place; with only two municipalities and one city to serve; substantial number of residential, commercial and industrial users; and proximity to an abundant natural source of power.
In 1994, Leyeco II had 31.21 % systems loss; two unions always at odds with each other, resulting to inefficiency of service; accumulated net loss of nearly P25 M; 12 quarters arrears in payment of NEA loan amortization and with categorization of D.
In 1994, with the Localization Program of NEA the first local general manager in the person of Mrs. Juliet Pretencio was installed. The first problem that was tackled was how to handle the labor problem and the inefficiency of the staff.
The conduct of employees' meetings was implemented in order to acquaint them of the goals that need to be accomplished. The employees' receptiveness and positive response were considered as the most critical at that point because without which nothing could ever be achieved.
LEYECO II management saw the importance of establishing sound human resources development program through a regular weekly meeting of the staff and divisions to present the respective workplans and to review accomplishments. Aside from that, monthly employees and coop officers dialogue were conducted.
The Cooperative also went into the program of professionalizing the services of coop employees by upgrading their technical skills through trainings and re-aligning work functions vis-à-vis their talents and fields of specialization; inculcation of the values of honesty, hard work, and discipline; team-building and value formation seminars.
To instill discipline among the ranks, Atty. Conde said that the management strictly imposed the attendance during the Monday morning flag ceremony, the wearing of the proper office uniforms and strictly prohibited smoking in restricted areas. Regular masses were offered every first Wednesday and Friday of the month and the conduct of birthday bashes, annual sportsfest, the LEYECO II Chorale, etc. was institutionalized to provide venues for employee interaction, thus helping to build stronger teams and foster closer ties between them.
To keep the member consumers and the staff abreast with what is going on in the cooperative, the publication of the HR Insider. Also, in order to be able to serve the customers better, LEYECO II paved way for the installation of 24-hour customers' service counter and the key field personnel and crew were equipped with handheld radios so that they can be reached anytime their services are needed.
The LEYECO II management also enhanced the existing information vehicles to effectively reach a larger number of concessionaires. This was done through weekly pre membership and orientation seminars, barangay consultative meetings, public address system, press conferences in coordination with the local PIA and the tri-media, a bi-monthly radio program, publication of the quarterly newsletter Kalamragan.
The Customer Service Standards was raised using information tools to get customer feedback: Survey / questionnaire; Suggestion box; SMS or text messaging; Quarterly District Electrification Committee meetings; and Annual General Membership Assembly.
Financial Development was achieved through enhancement of collection efficiency; undertaking continuous analysis of historical consumption of delinquent consumers; setting up of workable, effective but less costly collection programs like Special Banking Arrangement (SBA) and the setting up of Collection centers in Babatngon & Palo.
Technical Development and Information Technology upgrading were also implemented which resulted to the reduction of non-power cost; line installation projects to serve sitios in keeping with the expansion program, line rehabilitation and upgrading.
Since 1995, receiving an award has become a habit for LEYECO II: Most Improved EC in the Philippines in 1995; Exemplary Payor Award from1996-2002; Special Citation for 100% Bgy. Energization; Top Performing EC Award from 1977-1999, 2001; Leadership Award for EC General Managers; 2000, 2002, 2003 Outstanding EC in the Philippines Award; 2005 SPECIAL AWARD FOR CATEGORY A+ ECs for commendable operational performance given in Cagayan de Oro City last May 10, 2006.
Today, the LEYECO II is with the second local GM with the battle cry of Maximum Efficiency in an environment of absolute honesty and total solidarity. (PIA 8) [top]