Tue | Apr 20, 2021

Embrace digitisation – May Pen Chamber of Commerce

Published:Wednesday | March 3, 2021 | 12:06 AM
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Winsome Witter, president of the May Pen Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MPCCI), has urged the business community to embrace electronic channels of communication in light of the Jamaica Public Service Company’s (JPS) decision to close some of its offices in the parish.

Witter said the MPCCI appreciates that a business decision was taken in light of the changing environment.

“We do not perceive that this closure will have any significant impact on the business community, as many businesses would have already been utilising electronic channels of communication. For those businesses that have not yet embraced this option, we encourage them to get the necessary information to make the transition,” she shared, highlighting that the JPS team has been hosting virtual sensitisation sessions.

Witter, however, shared that there is much ground work to be done to ensure that not just the business community, but all residents of the parish receive pertinent information and guidance to navigate electronic platforms.

“The May Pen Chamber of Commerce and Industry encourages all business operators in the parish to reassess their own operations to see how best they can improve service delivery to their customers, as each play their part in fighting the spread of the coronavirus, so we can get back to extended business hours,” she said.

OFFICE CLOSURE

The JPS last week announced that it was closing seven offices due to a reduction in walk-in customers. Closure of the offices will take effect on March 8. However, the Bill Express sections and courtesy phones will be available on location.

One York Town resident, in commenting on the closure, said JPS does not value communities.

Another resident chimed in, “who does that in the middle of a pandemic? Heartless and cold. That’s what happens when one entity is providing a service.”

Member of Parliament for Clarendon Central Mike Henry is taking JPS to task for its closure of the offices, including the one in his constituency on Manchester Avenue.

He said he is amazed that JPS could “single-handedly” decide on the choice of closure of its offices across the island without Government’s agreement.

“Certainly, I must protest most strongly this retrograde step, definitely in the life of those struggling to survive as we make decisions on these supposed new approaches to digital lifestyles before we bring all social sectors of our society in line with each other,” he said in a release sent to The Gleaner.

Henry argued that the continued move to believe that Mandeville could become the replacement for May Pen citizens insults the demographics of the country and ignores the high cost of transportation and communication in Jamaica.

He urged Daryl Vaz, under whose portfolio the company falls, to take up the matter urgently even as he called on cabinet ministers from Clarendon to not ignore the importance of the capital to the parish of Clarendon, which is larger than Manchester.

“I call on the JPS to urgently reconsider this position just as I call on the Government’s support for the matter to be revisited,” he stressed.