GM Saniel's Birthday Tribute
Designated as PSS/Acting GM of ZAMSURECO-II
Pursuant of the NEA Board Resolution No. 82 Series of 2019, GM Saniel will perform the functions of a regular board in the absence of the Board of Directors that was deactivated by NEA due to failure and inability to lead ZAMSURECO-II. GM Saniel will also manage day-to-day operations of the EC to ensure the efficient delivery of electric service to the member-consumer-owners as well as performing other tasks/duties that may be assigned/directed by the National Electrification Administration for the purpose of operational efficiency. Signing/countersigning of checks. withdrawal slips and other banking transactions for and in behalf of the EC with all banks where ZAMSURECO-II have an account will also be performed by GM Saniel as the the PS/Acting GM of ZAMSURECO-II.
GM SANIEL: A DECADE OF DYNAMIC REFORMS &
June 21, 2006 - June 21, 2018
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Positive corporate image, value-added business process innovations, satisfied stakeholders, sustained 100% collection efficiency, below the cap system loss, Triple AAA Mega Large Category, 100 points rating, and Green Classified Coop. These are just some of the remarkable contributions brought by the exemplary leadership of ZAMSURECO-I’s third General Manager and CEO, Jose Raul Agustero-Saniel.
Behind a great leader is a great story. As GM Saniel celebrates his 14th year anniversary in ZAMSURECO-I, we stride backwards as we journey together in his formative years as a leader who transformed a 180-degree turn of the Coop’s general operations.
In ZAMSURECO-I’s 47 years of service, its latest decade (2006-2019) revolves around years of remarkable change and major turnaround of events. Through the great leadership and inspiration of an erudite and visionary man, the wheels of change steered towards the positive direction to the roadmap of reforms, innovations and excellence.
Prior to his installment in office, GM Saniel underwent through the rigorous selection process conducted by the National Electrification Administration (NEA). Known to have possessed both intellect and wit, he surpassed the process and was confirmed by NEA to lead as newly General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of ZAMSURECO-I.
When GM/CEO Jose Raul A. Saniel assumed office as the third General Manager and CEO on June 21, 2006, the Cooperative was left at the bedrock of operational and organizational dilemmas, financial instability and low corporate image. Reflected through frequent incidents of brownouts, poor customer service, high prevalence of customer complaints, slow and long processing of electric service applications, low morale of employees, high systems loss of 21%, among others that resulted in an over-all standing of Category B, it severely eroded stakeholders’ trust and confidence in the Cooperative and its personnel. Highly criticized as inefficient, poorly managed, and unfriendly-organization way back in 2006, GM/CEO Saniel converted obstacles into opportunities as he restored ZAMSURECO-I’s over-all operations by means of innovative ideas, strategies, concrete initiatives and developmental programs.
Setting clear and concrete objectives ahead, he revisited the mission & vision statement of the Cooperative and enforced its implementation through its newly enhanced corporate targets and core values.
Veering towards a new direction in enhancing “CUSTOMER-CARE” service, sustainable workable strategies have been institutionalized such as Establishing A Set of Minimum Quality Standard For ZAMSURECO-I Collection Centers And Providing Incentives to Collection Agents aimed at building the image of ZAMSURECO-I as a customer-friendly organization. The Cooperative also entered into an Agreement with One Network Bank. Beginning 24 September 2006, the bank started accepting payments from ZAMSURECO-I member-consumers thus, offering convenience and comfort to paying customers. Further reforms were introduced as it established on-line Bayad Centers in strategic places and municipalities aimed at bringing the services closer to the people. In addition, he pushed for the passage of Board Resolution No. 130, “A Resolution Fully Supporting and Approving Management’s Decision to Organize ZAMSURECO-I Action Center (ZAC) for Rapid Support, Maintenance and Complaints; RA 7832 Violations; and to Arrest the Worsening Level of ZAMSURECO-I’s System Loss.”
In his persistent drive to bring down the cooperative’s system losses, he created the “Task Force Sugpo Electricity Pilferage” on 29 August 2006, which was instrumental in achieving the Cooperative’s below the cap system loss. In a span of six (6) months upon entering in the power distribution industry, the crucial problem of 21% systems loss of ZAMSURECO-I was reduced to 18% at the end of 2006. It dramatically decreased further to 13% in 2007 meeting ERC & NEA’s standard system loss cap within just one year of operations.
Remarkably, the battle against systems loss was successfully pursued under the wing of GM Saniel that was recognized by NEA as Electric Cooperative with Highest Percentage Reduction in System Loss for the year 2007 during the 2008 Lumens Awarding Ceremony. The modest gains that have been accomplished reflect his determination to provide better service to the Cooperative’s consumer-members, and improve ZAMSURECO-I’s operational efficiency and viability.
In the proceeding years, guided by his roadmap, robust immediate actions were undertaken. Several initiatives were vigorously pursued. Manual processes were automated. Systems were integrated. Procedures were standardized and innovations were launched. The massive restoration of ZAMSURECO-I’s over-all operations caused an increase in brand loyalty and recognition.
He pinned ZAMSURECO-I in the map of highly innovative and leading electric cooperatives in the country as he streamlined business processes and introduced advanced internal practices, which includes automation of its internal business process such as Read and Bill System, On-line Billing, On-line Collection-Tellering and Cashiering Systems, Warehouse Inventory Management System and Consumer Information Management System.
He polished topsy-turvy accommodation of customer complaints and drove into the creation of Z4Cs: ZAMSURECO-I Customer Care Call Center integrated with GPS Vehicle Fleet Tracking Monitoring System and Auto Broadcast System. He established on-line infrastructure facilities such as: (a) Voice Over Internet Protocol for internal and external communication system, (b) Internet Station in various offices, (c) dedicated Webmail, (d) Video Conferencing facility for online meetings and (e) Interactive Website that serves on-line customer power bill inquiry, on-line customer electric service applications and customer queries and complaints, among others aimed at service efficiency, Social media.
As an economist and a graduate of Masters in Communications Management in Strathclyde University Business School in United Kingdom, his expertise and significant experience in various aspects of information and communications technology (ICT) development-related works in universities and in the government has augmented the slow-drive of the Coop’s internal affairs.
GM Saniel outmaneuvered all odds as he build bridges between gaps in terms of ZAMSURECO-I’s relationship with its various stakeholders. Living by the business principles of customer care and responsiveness, he designed professional schemes and systems in bringing the services of the cooperative closer to the people as he initiated the establishment of facilities and infrastructures in the form of Online Collection/Bayad Centers in strategic places and municipalities with installed CCTV cameras; ZAMSURECO-I Action Center (ZAC) quick response team aimed at customer satisfaction.
During his first five years, it seems like GM Saniel had already maximized the Coop’s potential to rise above adversities yet it proved in the later years that his major milestones were just the beginning of ZAMSURECO-I’s metamorphosis.
He opened opportunities when he authored a “Transformer Rent-to-own Scheme” wherein customers who are unable to fully acquire transformers are allowed to rent and eventually own the unit. Responsive to the needs of its stakeholders, the scheme also enabled ZAMSURECO-I to diversify its operations and engage in other customer-oriented services.
In the aspect of human resources, GM Saniel embarked on the adoption of Biometric Personnel Timekeeping System. He regularized 79 casual employees. He pushed development programs and policies that focused and fostered the welfare of its workforce in areas of employee health and safety, employee discipline and compensation and benefits, which led to a major boost of employees’ morale. Further, he vigorously pursued capacity building and training programs as part of the over-all strategy of capacitating and enhancing productivity of the employees through proper ethics, values formation, skills upgrade, among others. Part of which includes off-work on Saturdays to enable work-life balance, Physical Friday Fitness, issuance of safety tools to technical personnel and professional gears to Meter Readers and Forced Savings scheme among employees.
GM Saniel also pushed for technical reforms and programs in its aim to sustainably reduce systems loss through massive pole metering and replacement of defective kwh meters, conduct of regular clearing and massive rehabilitation of power lines, which resulted in affordable services to customers and financial stability of the Cooperative.
Bearing the leadership quality of a risk-taker, he prioritized major investment on high-quality tools and equipment such as hotline maintenance tools, 69 kv line tools and equipment, boom trucks, thermal scanners, kwh meter calibrating machine, current and potential transformer testing equipment, Phoenix rewinding facility, and Corona system loss monitoring facility.
Critical new substation facilities were also constructed to segregate distribution of power in respective coverage areas in Brgy. Santa Maria, Pagadian City (10 mva) in 2008 ; Culo, Molave in 2016 (10 mva); San Jose, Aurora (10 mva) 2019, Upper Bayao, Tukuran (5mva) and on-going substation projects in Tikwas, Dumalinao (10 mva), Tiguma, Pagadian City (10 mva) and Santa Maria, Pagadian City (10 mva) aimed at ensuring power quality and reliability.
One of his technical innovations was the creation of Mobile Warehouse equipped with communication facility. It is a compact mobile vehicle that features embedded tools, equipment and materials needed for Taskforce Sugpo Operations. Faster rehabilitation work is done as it provides immediate access of materials and entails smooth flow of resolving technical power line and electric service installation issues.
Collaborative efforts between Internal Audit Department and Electronic Data Processing Department in support with area personnel under the direction of GM Saniel were recognized as sustained 100% collection efficiency for 14 consecutive years from 2006 to 2019 set a groundbreaking record in the history of ZAMSURECO-I.
Propelling higher towards customer delight, GM Saniel packaged series of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs that features added value and long-term effect to its stakeholders. Infused with creative ideas and smooth execution, some of the following CSR initiatives continue to furnish business relations every year: Sinsilyo-sa-Lata Feeding Program, Brigada Eskwela and LGU Electric Check, Blood Letting Program, Tree Planting Activity, Medical/Dental Outreach for Indigent Families, Accommodation of OJT, and SPES, supporting the Children’s Joy Foundation and Sustainable Livelihood through Livestock Dispersal Program.
Undeniably, the man behind the banner of ZAMSURECO-I stood firm and tall despite the hurdles in the power industry. His remarkable achievements and outstanding leadership attract attention and give inspiration amongst business partners, key officials, leaders, and other stakeholders thereby gaining prestige in the power industry as he received major awards conferred by the National Electrification Administration such as Sec. Francisco G. Silva Leadership Award (2007), Sec. Francisco G. Silva Grand Leadership Award (2009), General Manager of the Year Award in the years 2009, 2010 and 2014. In 2019 he received the General Manager Leadership Award for his exemplary performance for 2018.
Paired with built-in trust and confidence of his ZAMSURECO-I and power industry family, he was elected as Association of Mindanao Electric Cooperative (AMRECO) Vice President in 2007 until 2014. Currently, he holds major positions as RENECA, RENAGMEC President in Region IX, Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (PHILRECA) President and Board Vice President of Rural Electric Financing Corporation (REFC), Rural Electric Trading Corporation (RETC) and REEC.
His unique management style and leadership skills indeed bring honor to ZAMSURECO-I as it achieved Turn Around Electric Cooperative Award in 2007, Best in Collection Performance Award (100%) for the years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Further in 2011, it achieved a recognition for Best in Collection Performance Award for its Consistent 100% collection performance for the last five (5) consecutive years, in 2019 received a Stellar Success award for Consistently Achieving 100% Collection performance in the Last Ten (10) years and other several major awards from 2006 to 2018. Notably, the coop received the highest award to be given to electric cooperatives which is the “Emmanuel Pelaez Award” in 2008 for its total performance excellence from the National Electrification Administration. In addition, the coop was a three-time special awardee for EC which earned Excellent Rating in Scorecard on EC Corporate Governance in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Significant success achieved by ZAMSURECO-I as it received Performance Excellence Award for Triple A EC with 100% Total Score in the over all assessment in 2017 and 2018 and received the Five (5) Years of Powerhouse Excellence Award for Consistently Exhibiting an Exemplary Performance as a Triple A Electric Cooperative in the last Five years.
At present, ZAMSURECO-I still stands in its own pedestal as the Cooperative sets sail for more adventures in its journey towards continued excellence. Through GM Saniel’s pioneering efforts, ZAMSURECO-I skyrocketed towards the "A-list" of electric cooperatives in the Philippines. His story of unique leadership in more than a decade is a living proof that strategic planning, flawless execution and the value of innovation breed excellence.