One Less Thing to Worry About
Here’s One Less Thing to Worry About When Building Your Dream Home or Business
Meralco’s passion for service extends to a jointly formed program with LGUs to fast-track the energization of homes and businesses.
By By Marco Sumayao
Published July 29, 2021
Meralco, in partnership with 27 LGUs (as of publishing date) including Malolos City, is working to ease the burden of its customers by making the process of electrification truly digital. From left: Meralco AVP and Head, North Business Area Wilfredo Baetiong; Malolos City Mayor Hon. Gilbert Gatchalian; Malolos City Engineer and Building Official Engr. Ricasol Millan; Malolos Business Center Manager Arnaldo Punay.
“The process of securing a CFEI is now better and faster. It took much longer before.”
Jamalia Alawiya, a resident of Manila, previously struggled in filing her CFEI. But with electronic CFEI or eCFEI, she notes the marked improvement in the overall process. (“Mas maigi at mabilis na ang pagkuha ng CFEI, hindi katulad noon na matagal.”)
What is the eCFEI and what’s in it for you?
The Certificate of Final Electrical Inspection (CFEI) is a necessary document issued by your local government unit (LGU), which should be submitted to Meralco to ensure that electrical wirings were inspected and found to be compliant with the provisions of the Philippine Electrical Code and other applicable government rules and regulations.
To secure this, you would need to make multiple trips to your LGU, something that could be considered risky during a pandemic.
To help ease the burden of its customers, Meralco established a partnership with LGUs to expedite the processes through the electronic Certification of Final Electrical Inspection (eCFEI), a program that allows for the electronic transmission of approved CFEIs from LGUs to Meralco.
LGUs email the list of approved CFEIs and upon confirmation, Meralco notifies the customers that their CFEI has been approved.
Thus, trips to both city hall and Meralco Business Center (BC) are minimized and you get the lights on faster with less waiting time and contact with people.
The eCFEI program is one of Meralco’s initiatives to streamline the process of getting electricity to its customers, and this effort supports improving the Philippines’ ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Annual Report.
And because the digital process has less room for intervention, the eCFEI program has also had a surprise side effect: the reduction of falsified permits and CFEIs.
“Now, we have an organized [process for] monitoring issued CFEIs, and we can easily detect falsified permits or certificates,” explains Engr. Marco Del Rosario, a supervisor at the Office of the Building Official in San Juan City.
eCFEI is currently being implemented in 27 LGUs (Central Area: Antipolo, Binangonan, Cainta, Manila, Pasay, Pasig, and San Juan; North Area: Caloocan, Calumpit, Malolos, Navotas, and Quezon City; South Area: Alaminos, Bacoor, Batangas, Calamba, Carmona, Dasmarinas, Imus, Las Piñas, Liliw, Naic, Parañaque, San Pedro, Silang, Sta. Rosa, and Tiaong), and the results have been very encouraging.
In the municipality of Tiaong in Quezon, for example, over 600 eCFEIs have been processed since May 5, 2021. This is more than 50% of CFEIs released in the same period in 2019 (285) and 2020 (229), and this has played a major role in maintaining social distancing in the area.
“During this global pandemic, it is important to minimize face-to-face transactions,” says Hon. Mayor Ramon Abad Preza of Tiaong. “That is why the Municipality of Tiaong, Quezon supports the eCFEI Program of Meralco to promote and protect [our] health and safety.”
The success of the eCFEI program has also led to more cities and municipalities being eager to participate. The One Meralco Foundation (OMF) has also donated computers and scanners to selected LGUs to help in their shift to the digital process. To date, OMF has provided 18 pieces of equipment to 9 LGUs for the eCFEI program.
Service applications on Meralco Online
Aside from the eCFEI, Meralco had already been pushing initiatives to digitalize its processes prior to the pandemic.
Since 2018, customers have been able to request their Service Applications (SA) through Meralco Online (MO), the company’s online services portal. The capability was introduced to help manage the volume of customers that visit BCs, encouraging them to use Meralco’s digital channels for initial contact.
In 2020 alone, 121,950 SAs lodged via MO were fulfilled and submitted. Compared to 88,697 SAs filed as of mid-2021, that’s a 45% increase in SAs processed through MO or equivalent to 200,000 homes and businesses that were able to apply for electrical connections without having to line up in a crowd.
Meralco is continuously improving SA through MO, with a vision to create an end-to-end online service application process.
A truly digital energization journey
“The eCFEIs and online SA demonstrate Meralco’s passion for service, to make the customer’s electrification journey truly digital, while being simple, fast, and convenient. Both can be accessed at any time, from any place with internet access. More service innovations are in the pipeline,” promises Ferdinand O. Geluz, First Vice President – Customer Retail Services and Chief Commercial Officer of Meralco.
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Story originally posted on Power Club.