Yes, that’s correct.
And I am proud to be called such.
In fact, I will forever be grateful that I am part of the roster of its dedicated employees.
There is nothing to be ashamed of as an employee of BENECO. There is nothing to feel less dignified about it either. There are more than 270 of us and humbly, we burn our butts off 24/7 to ensure that no family would miss any episode of Cardo Dalisay.
This is what separates me from the other lawyers, particularly the trash talking ones. BENECO, as a public utility, offered my practice a new dimension. The business being highly technical and strictly regulated, I have to take my learning curve with heart so that as an employee, I could well grapple with confidence before the courts, the Energy Regulatory Commission, the NEA, congress and any fora what system loss, reclosers, SAIFI and SAIDI are.
That’s just me though. Think of the members of my family -- tellers, meter readers, linemen, job contractors, supervisors, rank and file, department managers and the GM -- they too have their stories to tell. Call them “empleyado lang” and they will surely revolt. Tag them further as “empleyado kau lang” and all the more they would render you in rebuke. To them, that would be an insult. That would surely provoke them to retaliate.
But this I appreciate in BENECO. It respects the culture of dissent, freedom of expression and freedom of association. That’s why there is a BENECO Employees Labor Union (BELU) and a BENECO Supervisors Association (BSA). They meet and discuss issues of their concern and would not buckle down to issue statements over company policies they feel would compromise their rights. On Friday Mornings, they are asked to throw their queries. And on many occasions, they were allowed to frankly blurt out their piece of mind. Ditto with the managerial employees. Their inputs are often solicited. In this electric cooperative, the logic lies on collective decision making.
That’s why I encourage my co-employees to take it in stride the words “empleyado ka lang.” Admittedly, the label is condescending. But let’s grin and bear it. We know that the one who said it was shooting from the hip.
Let’s just work hard. The electric cooperative, our employer, may not be perfect. And I do understand the rant that flood us often on social media. Yet I will still wear my uniform with gusto, 8 am to 5 pm, Monday to Saturday.
You should too. Kudos.