Reimbursement is Important / Fernando Damaso

Fernando Dámaso, 23 October 2015 — In Cuba, unlike other countries, public services are totally centralized by the State through its different companies: electricity, gas, telephone, water and sewer, municipal and other.

Being part of the same thing, these entities are considered untouchable, and they do things and undo them at their own whim, without considering the effect on citizens and businesses, State as well as private. Thus, they connect and disconnect the electricity according to their interests. The same thing happens with the gas service, telephones and drinking water.

Furthermore, in order to do maintenance and make repairs, they break up the streets and sidewalks; they interrupt transit and create multiple nuisances. Repairing what’s destroyed takes a long time to execute, and, in general, it’s bad quality. All of this causes economic loss to all types of businesses, for which no one answers.

It would be good if these consequences, when they aren’t caused by natural phenomena, were reimbursed economically by the companies causing them, by handing over a sum for the harm inflicted on a factory or a business: the value of what they lost when they had to stop producing or selling.

In addition to being just, this would oblige these companies to be more efficient in their work. Presumably, where they presently take 10 or 12 hours to repair a breakdown, with a brigade in which few work and many talk or lounge about, if they had to make reimbursements, they would see themselves obligated to do the work in less time and with only the minimum, necessary personnel. Furthermore, the result of the work would be better quality, since doing it poorly would affect the companies economically.

It’s something to think about; although, personally, I think that many of these services could be leased out, with less cost, better quality, less time and more efficiency, by private companies that contract for them, a general practice with magnificent results in many countries.

Translated by Regina Anavy