Determined to put up a fast, efficient and reliable service to its client base in Northern Mindanao, the First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FIBECO) established a 24-hour call center to immediately act on various customer concerns.
Based in Maramag, Bukidnon, FIBECO’s ‘Tawag Center’ operates seven days a week to serve its member-consumer-owners (MCOs) from Valencia City and the municipalities of Damulog, Dangcagan, Don Carlos, Kadingilan, Kibawe, Kitaotao, Maramag, Pangantucan, Quezon, San Fernando, and Wao.
“If there is a problem, we directly communicate with our consumers through our newly established Tawag Center,” said FIBECO general manager Reynaldo Balaba.
Launched in 2017, the Tawag Center has six consumer welfare assistants working in three shifts to handle inquiries, complaints and common concerns, such as power interruptions, broken utility poles, and loose or dangling electrical wires.
Once an agent receives a concern from a consumer, they relay this to the maintenance unit, which then sends out a service crew to the location to assess and fix the problem as soon as possible.
Arman Cantoy, manager of FIBECO Institutional Services Department, said that the goal of setting up the center is to make it easier for MCOs to raise their concerns.
Since the launch of the facility, the number of complaints FIBECO directors receive from their MCOs has declined significantly.
National Electrification Administration (NEA) chief Edgardo Masongsong lauded FIBECO for its initiative to open the call center to immediately attend to the concerns of its MCOs.
Providing a proper, accessible venue to vent out complaints is a value-added service to the customers we serve.
“Providing a proper, accessible venue for the MCOs to vent out their complaints to the electric cooperative is a value-added service to the customers we serve,” Masongsong said.
“It is also an opportunity for the EC Management to address the issues and concerns properly and appropriately, obtaining for the distribution utility enlightenment to and support from the members themselves,” he added.
Currently, FIBECO has six substations in Camp 1 and Anahawon in Maramag; Dabong-dabong and Lumbo, Valencia City; Palma, Kibawe; and Barandias, Pangantucan.
For more than four decades, it has partnered with the NEA in implementing the rural electrification projects of the government, completing the energization of about 196 sitios within its franchise area in 2016.
To meet the increasing demand for electricity in the communities it serves, FIBECO also plans to build two more power substations in Valencia City and Don Carlos, on top of the 95 sitios currently undergoing energization.
FIBECO likewise continues to build a strong partnership with local government units.
“Maganda ‘yung relationship natin with the LGUs, with the mayors. Wala tayong problema,” Balaba said. “Kapag may (concern) ang mayor, pinupuntahan ng area manager. They are happy kasi nagpapakita ang FIBECO.”
During the National Electrification Awareness Month (NEAM) in August last year, FIBECO visited municipality heads within its coverage area and presented its programs and accomplishments in terms of providing electricity services to the communities they serve.
FIBECO also regularly conducts medical and dental missions, feeding programs and tree-planting activities every year. This is on top of its “Brigada Kuryente Checks” and bag donation program, which has helped 5,000 schoolchildren belonging to low-income families in 2017.
Alongside these initiatives, FIBECO also extends assistance to fellow power distribution utilities during natural disasters and calamities. Recently, it sent a 10-man team to Marawi City to assist in power restoration and rehabilitation of distribution lines damaged by the five-month long armed conflict.
Established in 1972, FIBECO partly owns the Bukidnon Sub Transmission Corporation (BSTC) with the Bukidnon Second Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BUSECO). BSTC operates the 69-kilovolt sub-transmission system in Bukidnon that spans over the areas of Tagoloan to Lunocan; Kibawe-Maramag-Aglayan; and Maramag-Pulangi.