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BWSI Jumpstart 2018!

Gabby De Vera

The idea of doing better, being better, and striving for excellence, specifically with respect to managing the operations and business of Balibago Waterworks System, Inc., (BWSI), was a recurring theme at JUMPSTART 2018, held on 8-9 February 2018, at the Midas Hotel & Casino, Pasay City, Metro Manila. JUMPSTART 2018, curiously titled, “MOP SIR D’ H20” was a thunderous wake-up call for BWSI’s officers and managers from the 58 branches and the numerous support departments to become exemplary leaders, influencers, and representatives of the company. The challenge was clear as it was powerful: if BWSI’s first 60 years were marked by profound change and growth, the next 40 years would be driven by innovation, success and stability. BWSI marches forward determined to be a leader in an environment made even more daunting by rugged competition, volatile hydro-climatic situations, tighter markets, and rapid technological change. The event demanded of BWSI’s leaders to become genuine embodiments of duty –of being able to exude passion, competence, and servitude – that would assure BWSI’s winning tradition well past its centennial (100th!) year!

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The framework for JUMPSTART 2018 was ensconced in MOP SIR D’ H20, a funky mnemonic coined by BWSI President Cristino L. Panlilio (CLP), who recalled some of the core lessons he picked up in Business School. MOP SIR D’ H20 was in essence Management 101: it provided BWSI’s participants an ultra-wide and fundamental overview of the Management science. CLP’s lectures touched on numerous topics, including Marketing, Business Enterprise, People Management, Product Development, Accounting, and Problem-Solving.

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Designing the event around these seminal concepts of Management was necessary. Senior Vice President Criselle P. Alejandro (CPA) exclaimed that 2018 would be a year of cultivating “clockmakers, and not merely time-tellers.” It would be a year for raising standards, rewarding results not effort, and establishing a fresh culture of excellence throughout BWSI. And what more impactful manner of elevating mindsets, functions, and performance was there, than to learn and take inspiration from management gurus like CLP? Who, himself, had taken legendary risks, and spent inordinate time, patience, resources, to grow a small barangay water operator into BWSI, one of the biggest water companies in the country today!

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Besides CLP and CPA who took turns on the podium with the 80-odd participants of JUMPSTART 2018, another person who had a gigantic imprint in the 2-day event was Mr. Sonny Santiago. As BWSI’s Consultant for Training & Development, Mr. Santiago lent his inimitable voice, and decades of expertise in coaching, mentoring, and capacity development to help the participants resolve a difficult understanding of perfection and excellence. His bullishness on such notions was palpable. He reminded BWSI that there was always a better way of accomplishing things, of voluntarily thrusting oneself towards a path of greatness (or greater things) amidst self-doubt, bad habits, and other frailties in and out of the workplace. But his boldness was also incredible, i.e., 100% is possible, 100% of the time – which he explained as a perspective (or attitude) in raising performance levels to loftier heights, and not necessarily seen as an exact probability, or plausibility.

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In P. Drucker’s words, “a knowledgeable employee is much more productive and efficient.” JUMPSTART was not simply a crash course to an MBA. There was technical depth and rigor. On the second day, CLP enlightened the participants with a crisp overview of the Philippine water industry – its history, its institutions and systems of governance, and its operators. As a follow-up, Vice President for Engineering, Engr. Sonny Cruz delivered an exciting presentation of BWSI’s major, upcoming infrastructure-engineering projects that intend to augment water supply provisions, and avert climate- and urban-driven water stress especially among the Central/Pampanga branches. Last but not least, Engr. Mayet David, who heads the Hydraulics and Compliance Department, capped the event by expertly navigating the intricate aspects of water quality analysis, treatment and management. Her lecture felt imminent in the face of alarming potable water concerns in several business zones of BWSI.

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JUMPSTART 2018 would not have been as resonant without referencing back and back again BWSI’s Spirit ‘D Corps, the PDCP. PDCP remains BWSI’s spiritual guide that gives meaning and richness to Excellence in Management, viz. MOP SIR D’ H20. It is PDCP that inspires BWSI to be a more responsible, and responsive organisation, a more customer-oriented utility, and a more dynamic and resilient business in an ever-changing world. And it is ultimately PDCP that will empower BWSI’s strive for excellence, if not perfection, through 100 years.

It is 100% possible, 100% of the time.