After a few days of trying, I got through to another recording that instructed me to press the number of the phone that needed repair. When I heard “Sorry we are experiencing difficulty in testing your telephone,” I assumed that PLDT Repairs would take note and send a repairman to fix the phone. When after several days no repairman had come and no action had been taken, I dialed 173 repeatedly for the next 48 hours. I got alternately the recording “All agents are engaged at the moment” and “Thank you for calling PLDT. Your call is important to us. You will be attended to as soon as an attendant is free.” Just like smug and uncaring personnel in many government offices, they dismiss requests and inquiries coldly. One time I had to call the Traffic Management office to report an accident. No one answered any of the several phone numbers of the office.
Thinking that maybe on a Sunday, there would not be too many subscribers When a repair man came, I asked him on whose order was he dispatched to my place. He said “the order came from above,” raising his index finger way up high. calling, I dialed Repairs about noontime of September 18. To my surprise, I got through to another station. I was told by a recording to text the number of the telephone I was reporting for repairs. At 7:45 pm that Sunday, I received the text message that a repair ticket had been issued. When Tuesday came and no repair man had come, I called the president of PLDT, Poly Nazareno, my former student at the Asian Institute of Management to complain.
This is typically Filipino, the personalistic culture in operation. When one has difficulty getting a government office to act on even a routine matter, he calls the most senior official he knows in that department to intercede for him.
When a repair man came, I asked him on whose order was he dispatched to my place. He said “the order came from above,” raising his index finger way up high. I asked if he got any order from Repairs. He said he did on Sept. 18. But he could not come right away because he is the only technician for the Alabang area. I asked why. “Many had left the company,” came the answer. Just like the good professionals in government offices, they are leaving in droves.
My name and the names of Muntinlupa subscribers, as well as those of subscribers from Marikina, Taguig, and a few other municipalities, were removed from the Metro Manila telephone directory and placed in an unknown Metro Suburban Directory. Just like the Commission on Elections, voters’ names are delisted from their old precincts and placed in some other the voters never knew about.