Majority of the 239 members of the Visayan Electric Company Employees Union - Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (VECEU-ALU-TUCP ) favor the staging of strike during the vote held outside the company's compound in Banilad and also at the D. Jakosalem office.
VECEU-ALU-TUCP president Casimero Mahilum said that of the 239 union members, a total of 156 members have voted for the strike. The union only needed 122 votes to make their strike legal.
In Banilad, of the 120 members expected to vote, 103 showed up and all but three voted yes.
At the VECO Jakosalem office, only 53 of the 119 members voted. Of those who voted, 49 voted yes.
Mahilum said that those who failed to cast their votes were either on leave or simply failed to beat the 8 p.m. deadline.
Renato Gregorio Gimenez, VECEU-ALU spokesperson and vice president said that the strike vote is a protest against unjust labor practices.
The Labor Code mandates that a simple majority (50% plus 1) for the strike to be legal.
The result of the strike vote will be submitted by the union to the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) today.
After the result of the vote is submitted, there is a seven-day cooling-off period before the union will decide when to launch the strike.
Mahilum said that their action "will cripple VECO's operation."
He said that if the union will not get any positive response from the management of the power utility by November 10, they can hold their strike any time.
"Di lang mi mosulti sa when ang exact date sa strike. But mahitabo gyud na ang strike, kung walay mahitabo nga maayo during negotiations," Mahilum said.
Mahilum, who was terminated from work last week, said that the conduct of the strike vote was peaceful.
The union filed its notice of strike before the NCMB last October 28 on the ground of unfair labor practice.
The notice was filed after Mahilum was terminated that day on the ground of loss of trust and confidence.
ALU-TUCP had expressed disgust over the management's decision to terminate the local president and is expressing full support of whatever the general membership will decide related to this act from management of disrespecting trade union rights.
VECO, in a press statement reiterated its assurance to the public that in the event of a strike, electric service in all areas under their franchise shall be uninterrupted.
VECO spokesperson Ethel Natera had said that they shall ensure that electric service as well as customer requests, applications and payments as well as complaints will be acted on in a manner that the VECO customer requires and deserves.
Capitol spokesperson Rory Jon Sepulveda said Conde Nast Traveler's survey showed that other islands are becoming better than Cebu, which is relying on industries highly dependent on incoming tourist and or customers who are coming for tourism and hospitality services.
"Dili gyud angay nga mokompiyansa ta nga maminus ang prestihiyosong Sugbo because that's the only thing that matters to them (tourists) - an image about Cebu," he told reporters yesterday while Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia is still on a trip in China.
Sepulveda, however, cited that aside from tourism, Cebu's booming Business Process Outsourcing industry is also a come on for not only tourists but also investors.
"Ang atoang greatest asset ang human infrastructure. . . Di gyud palupig ang Sugbo. Ang atong paningkamot nga ang imahe sa Sugbo ug ang atoang government and physical public infrastructures are there makapadayung ma-perceive ang Sugbo nga di lang maayo suroyanan kon di maayo usab sa business," he said.
With the recent development, Cebu City south district Rep. Tomas Osmeña found another opportunity to hit at the tourism program of Cebu province dubbed as "Suroy-Suroy Sugbo."
According to Osmeña, the governor's program in promoting tourism was a "big failure" despite the provincial government's spending huge amount of money.
"Nobody is investing in the province. Kanang Suroy-Suroy daghang organizers ug wala gyud naka-attract," Osmeña said. Compared to Cebu province, he added the city has done so much especially in infrastructure projects like the South Road Properties.
Tourism stakeholders in Cebu expressed surprise over the result of Conde Nast's survey but they are still happy that two local resorts have made it to this year's list of Top Resorts in the World cited by the same travel magazine.
The international magazine, which specializes in luxury travel, recognized two high-end resorts on Mactan island, Cebu in the category of Top Resorts in Asia for 2010.
Shangri-La's Mactan Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City ranked number 14 with 83.2 points, while Plantation Bay Resort and Spa, also in Lapu-Lapu, was number 15 with a rating of 82.6 - one notch higher than its last year's 16th place ranking. About 380 resorts were rated by magazine readers in the global survey.
The results, released in mid-October, are from Conde Nast's 23rd Annual Readers' Choice Awards, a listing of the best cities, islands, hotels, transportation and resorts worldwide for 2010.
It was Shangri-La's Mactan Resort and Spa's first time to make the list.
Plantation Bay Resort and Spa tied with Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa (Siem Reap, Cambodia) for number 15 spot among Asian resorts.
Cebu was shut out of the list of Top Island Destinations after consistently appearing on the magazine's annual survey.
This year, Cebu was replaced by "Luzon" at number 7 with 75.1 points.
Cebu is an island in the Visayas with a population of 3 million compared with Luzon's 48 million. Luzon includes Metro Manila and regions of Ilocos, Bicol, Central Luzon, Cagayan, and the Cordilleras.
Cebu has occupied the 7th place four times in the magazine's annual survey garnering 72.6 points in 2009; 70.9 in 2008; 72.3 in 2007 and 72.8 in 2004. Twice, it has been ranked 8th best island destination by the same survey: in 2006 with 71.0 points and in 2005, with 69.5 points.