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    Sunday, July 21, 2019-7:42:40A.M.






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Papago resident complains about CUC inaction

GARY Sword, KKMP radio talk show host and a Papago resident, said the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. has yet to respond to his complaint over a leaking pipe in their family compound which has eight houses.

Gary Sword speaks before the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. board on Thursday. Photo by Junhan B. Todiño

 “We have been pumping water into a tank at the bottom of the hill because there’s no water pressure — we pay a flat monthly rate,”  Sword told the CUC board on Thursday. He was accompanied by his wife, attorney Rosemond B. Santos, also of KKMP.

In 2012, Sword said they applied for water meters for each house in the family compound.

 “The customer service personnel will say, ‘We are waiting for the engineering’s response,’ ” he told the board. “We are tired of following up and hearing the same excuse.”

In June 2018, he said they applied for a meter relocation after their water bill went up to $800 a month.

He said they knew that there is a leak on the pipe, “but we don’t have the resources to detect it — only CUC has that equipment.”

After Typhoon Yutu hit the island, Sword said their water bill went up to $5,000 due to ruptured pipes caused by trees that have fallen in the area.

“If [CUC did its job], we would not be sitting here today,” he said. “We would be on the radio shouting your praises. But unfortunately, the only way to get it done is to tell the board about it.”

Sword also asked CUC not to move water meters away from homes. If the pipe breaks, he added, the customers have to pay for the damage.

“That is not customer friendly. This is a public utility and you have a social obligation to your customers to provide service that they can’t get elsewhere,” Sword said.

He said CUC must help customers with their water issues. He recommends the creation of a “water-buster” crew that can quickly address customers’ problems, and a system that will ensure that work orders are moving forward.

Moreover, he said customer service personnel should be authorized to refer customer issues to upper management to ensure that they are resolved.

CUC board chair Miranda Manglona asked CUC Executive Director Gary Camacho to look into Sword’s complaints and to discuss them with the customer service director and other department heads and identify possible solutions.