CUC daily collection now improving; gets $200K a day

The Commonwealth Utilities Corp.’s billings collection is now improving as it collected an average of $200,000 per day for the month of January.

CUC chief accountant Rodolfo P. Urbano disclosed that after Super Typhoon Yutu’s devastation on Saipan and Tinian last Oct. 24 and 25, their daily average billings collection was only $150,000.

Urbano anticipated that their collection will soon reach the pre-Yutu average of $200,000 to $250,000 per day.

Urbano said CUC has available funding to buy a generator unit that will serve as a reserve capacity for Rota.

Urbano disclosed CUC’s collection when CUC board vice chair Weston Deleon Guerrero inquired during a meeting last week on whether they have the financial capability to purchase a 2-kilowatt power engine for Rota.

The estimate amount of such engine was between $200,000 and $300,000.

At last December’s CUC board meeting, CUC acting chief financial officer Corina Magofna made a presentation disclosing that from $10.6 million last September, CUC’s power billing collection nosedived to just $4.2 million last November—a steep 60.47-percent decrease—in the wake of Yutu’s devastation.

On water billings collection, Magofna said that last September their collection amounted to $763,000 and that it dropped to $461,000 last November—a 39.58-percent decrease.

October water collection was at $796,000.

CUC executive director Gary P. Camacho said the engine is only about 2 megawatts and may cost only between $200,000 and $300,000.

Meanwhile, at the same board meeting, Vic Cepeda, a resident of Gualo Rai, complained about the amount of his utility billing for the months of December 2018 to January 2019 that reached $898 when he was in fact off-island during that period.

Cepeda shared the bad customer service he allegedly experienced with CUC’s complaints and dispute section.

Cepeda said he left Saipan last Oct. 12 or before Yutu for the U.S. mainland and went back only last week.

He said he was surprised to see his billing reached $898.

He said he spent the whole day at CUC’s complaints and dispute section, but his name was never called.

Cepeda said CUC’s payment section has been doing an excellent job, but the dispute section is not and that the management should do something about it.

He said his billing for water was $42.92 and $17.14 for sewer for August to September.

He said in September to October his water was $32.96 and $14.30 for sewer.

For October to November, his water was $12.88 and $10.50 for sewer.

He said for November to December his water was $16.33 and $10.92 for sewer.

Cepeda said for December to January, his water reached $578.76 and $250.92 for sewer.

Cepeda said he wants to see how CUC crew investigate the matter at his house because it was not the first time this happened to his Billings.

Cepeda said he will be glad to pay, but just wants to know how CUC made such computation.

CUC chair Miranda Manglona assured Cepeda that they will look into his complaint and that his recommendation will be taken into consideration.

CUC executive director Gary P. Camacho, in an interview, said he really appreciates Cepeda’s recommendation and that he already asked the chief of administration to look into it and to give him a recommendation as soon as possible to ensure that they can make the necessary adjustments.

“The customer is always right. I agree with him and I totally appreciate the fact that he was here. These are the things that we need to know. These are the things that we as utility must correct immediately,” Camacho said.

Camacho said it is their responsibility to provide and not waste any of the customers’ time and that they must be more effective, more efficient.

“Although I think we got a good group of people, but I think our system needs to be reviewed and maybe possibly determined or reviewed for determination whether we need to make necessary adjustments,” he said.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.