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So you want to live in Lapu-Lapu City?

Don’t. Our less-than-a-year-old TV set conked out last week after a power surge. The service of Mactan Electric Company (MECO, which at times may mean mediocre electric company) has become more erratic than it already is lately.

To be fair, Meco’s services have improved, albeit incrementally. Last year, whenever rains were particularly strong — the type when raindrops hitting your face actually hurt — you could expect a blackout to follow. This year, though, there are times when we still have power even during exceptionally heavy rains.

Unlike our more fortunate neighbors serviced by the Visayan Electric Co. (Veco) across the bridge, Lapu-Lapu residents do not get announcements of scheduled power interruptions. Veco makes it a point to place newspaper advertisements of schuled blackouts and go the rounds of radio stations to announce the scheduled power interruption.

Meco, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to care. I’ve never read nor heard announcements of scheduled blackouts from Meco. I suspect they don’t take the effort to announce scheduled power interruptions.

What I do, instead, is call Meco to ask whether there is a scheduled blackout in times when I absolutely have to use a computer: when I had classes for an online course I?m taking or when I have work deadlines.

I envy residents serviced by Veco. Not only does Veco take customer relationships seriously, it also has advance facilities to deal with subscribers.

By Max Limpag

Max is a journalist and blogger based in Cebu City, Philippines. He is co-founder of the journalism start-up InnoPub Media.