BASILAN ISLAND (Rene Carbayas / 27 Nov) - "There is always a better way," runs the slogan campaign of the Basilan Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BASELCO) crisis management team that has effectively been proven with its "fantastic performance" that impresses the Presidential Assistant on Rural Electrification (PARE) and the National Electrification Administration (NEA).
BASELCO has improved power distribution efficiency with reduction of systems loss to 18.62% in September from 21.98% last May 2006, with a total of P643,846.56 peso savings on system loss reduction from May to September 2006.
Additional 31 villages energized from 215 to 258 villages, which represents some 96% of total number of households in Basilan. BASELCO's distribution of power supply improved to 24 hours in all its areas, with very significant reduction of outages by October this year in Isabela and Lamitan feeders.
The procurement of 8 customized Kabayan Multi-cabs Linemen's crew-cab, which was distributed to each of the seven sub-offices, has improved the performance and provided quick-response delivery of services to member consumers.
But more importantly, BASELCO has improved its collection efficiency from 75.77% to 96.56% on current power bills by September 2006, which enabled the cooperative to pay in full its power bills for July, August and September 2006 to the National Power Corporation (NPC).
These were just some of the results of having improved the capacities of frontline workers, boosted with high moral. All of these and those other accomplishments were achieved within 100 days under the new Crisis Management Team (CMT).
"I have never seen such a fantastic performance in just 100 days," PARE Sec. Fr. Francisco G. Silva said, as he affirmed the high moral of employees who were "shining with joy."
During his speech at the 100th day commemorative event under the Bagong BASELCO family on Nov. 8, Fr. Silva challenged, even demanded, absolute honesty on the part of the Board of Directors. "Any leader who is not honest loses respect and has no place in BASELCO," he stressed as he challenged the board to leave a legacy.
Fr. Silva also challenged the employees to "be willing to fight even to die for it when necessary because you are doing the job," he said addressing the employees. "We take care of you, you just take care of BASELCO," Silva said as he assured that hard work will be recognized and performance will be compensated.
NEA Administrator Editha A. Bueno was also impressed at BASELCO's 100 days accomplishments. She assured employees of salary adjustments in the near future if BASELCO could duplicate or triplicate the 100 days performance it has shown. "The challenge now is how to sustain or surpass what has been achieved," she said.
PARE and NEA have installed a Crisis Management Team (CMT) at BASELCO in June to assist in solving the problem of power in the province. The CMT was composed of Erico Bucoy as Adviser, Executive Officer Atty. Alan Gaviola, Fr. Alfredo Oyao, and Oversight Officer Sakiran A.Hajan.
Upon the assumption of the CMT, the cooperative started to turn around its pace from the brink of bankruptcy and initiated a lot of positive changes in its operation, building a stronger organization, aiming for a more reliable and prompt power service for the best interest of its valued member-consumers.
The secret to its success was simply attributed to the energized, capacitated, and strengthened bonding of employees, as everything follows with a satisfied worker, Atty. Gaviola said.
In retrospect, BASELCO was on the brink of bankruptcy until last May. Its delivery of electric services to consumers was characterized by low-voltage and constant brown-outs, which greatly affected Basilan's economy.
Outages have involved load shedding rotated at all sections resulting to an average of only 12 hours power supply daily. Its system loss was 21% that was way above the allowable cap of 14%. Its collection efficiency was only 78% and suffered from pilferage of electric power.
Its income was much below operating expenses that it has not been able to pay its arrears to NAPOCOR, which has now reached P483.99 million and to NEA at P31.38 million.
BASELCO was not able to pay salaries of its personnel to cope up with continuing increase on cost of living. It has not been able to pay lump sum payments to its retirees. BASELCO had difficulty in buying equipments needed by its personnel to effectively perform their tasks and functions.
The unfavorable working conditions had led to mass demoralization and deterioration of personnel's commitment to properly served the consumers.
These past conditions had been surpassed surprisingly within 100 days under the CMT as BASELCO experiences a complete turn around -- from near bankruptcy towards a self-sustaining enterprise with improved morale and performance of its personnel, improved electric service to its member-consumers, reduced systems loss, improved collection efficiency and strengthened unity among employees with its member consumers.
True to its slogan, BASELCO has found a "better way" and delivered a "fantastic performance," now envied by neighboring electric cooperatives in the region. (Rene Carbayas)