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The 2016 VECO's COO Forum
May 12, 2016
Increase in energy purchases, growing energy sales, lower systems loss, rising peak demand, and expanding customer base were highlighted by Visayan Electric Company (VECO) Chief Operating Officer Anton Perdices as he reported on the company’s standpoint for the past year during the COO Forum on Feb. 2.
The forum, which was held at the grand ballroom of Montebello Villa Hotel, is an annual delivery of the company's accomplishments for the previous year. This is aside from the semestral report that is usually done in the middle of the year.
This year’s forum was attended by close to 200 employees of VECO.
Perdices spoke of the steady growth in the consumers’ demand for electricity despite the decision of cement company Cemex, a major customer, to self-generate.
“Cemex had to self-generate and that brought down the demand in growth but, still, there is a very good demand in growth year after year,” he said.
In 2015, energy purchases grew by 2% with a 6.
1% increase in peak demand from 459 megawatts in 2014 to 475 megawatts in 2015.
In correlation, energy sales for 2015 also went up. An increase of 5.
7% was noted in the total energy sales for residential consumers, 3.
1% for commercial and 0.
5% for industrial.
The growth, according to Perdices, can also be seen in VECO’s expanding customer base.
The number of electricity connections increased by up to 3.
9% in 2015. Residential consumers comprise 89% of this, followed by 10% from the commercial consumers, and 0.
4% being industrial.
“So, steady growth. As you can see, Cebu is booming. You see all around the buildings, the industries, the housing,” he said. However, he still reiterated the self-generation of Cemex.
There is also a good trend in the lowering of systems loss year per year since 2011.
“The challenge for 2016 is to make it lower,” Perdices said.PROJECTS COMPLETED
VECO’s capital expenditure (CapEx) has grown to P907 million from P875 million in 2014.
CapEx are funds used by a company to acquire or upgrade physical assets such as property, industrial buildings or equipment. It is often used to undertake new projects or investments by the firm.
Perdices said there are still challenges left for this as the company is in the process of acquiring lots in South Road Properties (SRP) and in San Fernando.
He presented two sub-transmission line projects funded by the company’s CapEx in Naga City and Mabolo, Cebu City that forms part of the company’s 10-year development plan. This is meant to provide reliability and flexibility for the southern and central regions of the VECO franchise.
Projects are also lined-up for completion for the year 2016 with the improvement of two substations in Mabolo and Camputhaw, Cebu City; putting up of additional sub-transmission lines; and the ongoing building of utility structures and underground distribution along Osmena Boulevard starting from the Provincial Capitol down to Fuente Osmena Circle.CHALLENGES MET
Although there were was a steady growth for 2015, there were also challenges that needed to be addressed.
COO Perdices said the ‘saddest story’ for the year 2015 was the significant increase of unscheduled service interruptions in the feeder level.
From 153 service interruptions in 2014, the number went up to 213 in 2015. That’s a 39.
As the increase was attributed to the explosion of insulators purchased from China five years ago, top management ordered the change of all the insulators.
On the brighter side, accidents involving VECO personnel and contractors have dropped last year. For accidents with injury, the number dropped from 11 to 4. For those with injury, it dropped from 24 to 19.
Violators were also not spared as the company had a 5.
4% increase in apprehensions on CT rated accounts, illegal reconnection, flying connections, direct tapping, and tampered meter of consumers. A total of 88 EMC were also installed.
Perdices lauded the performance of personnel in the engineering department especially on emergency response situations. There was an increase of 11% for a 30-minute response time and 3.
3% increase for an hour’s response time.
“Amazing even with the traffic,” he said.
Perdices said the drop could be attributed to the constant safety reminders being sent out through various media platforms.
However, an increase in accidents involving the public or customers was noted. From 53 cases in 2014, it grew to 60.
“We are going to be focusing now on changing our secondary lines from non-insulated to tree wire. A lot of the accidents that we’ve had are because of that. You know the children flying the kites, the construction. So, hopefully, as much as possible, we are going to change all those tree wires to avoid all those accidents,” Perdices said.GOING ONLINE AND MOBILE
VECO also had significant growth in customer touch point especially in addressing inquiries and providing assistance.
The company’s social media presence and capacity to answer mobile phone queries have addressed a number of customers’ concerns.
VECO has addressed 189,374 calls, 7,892 mails and 75,939 queries from its ASKVECO BILL; and 4,678 queries from its ASKVECO OUTAGE.
This is apart from the inquiries and complaints addressed through the company’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Perdices also mentioned the help of Aboitiz Power’s new mobile application in answering the consumers’ inquiries on electricity bills.AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) awarded VECO with a Tripartite Certificate of Compliance with Labor Standards before 2015 ended.
The Aboitiz Company also awarded the company as the 2015 Driven to Serve- Customer Focused Winner for its Typhoon Yolanda Contingency Plan.HELPING OTHERS
VECO’s contributions to community development through infrastructure projects and scholarship programs have been greatly accomplished. The construction of classrooms under its Silid Pangarap program, the rural electrification program under Department of Energy (DOE) ER1-94 and the upgrading of electrical wiring system of schools highlight these.
To date, VECO has also sponsored a total of 155 high school scholars, 68 technical vocation scholars, and 50 college scholars.OTHER GOOD NEWS
Before the end of his presentation, Perdices announced the promotion of several employees.
Looking forward, Perdices said, VECO will still face a lot of challenges ahead but he challenged every employee to be a lifelong student, be passionate about their job and help others rise through the work they do.