JPS to close three offices in rural parishes
The Jamaica Public Service (JPS) will be closing three of its offices at the end of the month.
JPS announced that offices in Falmouth, Trelawny, Lucea, Hanover and Port Antonio, Portland.
The information was revealed at a meeting of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) Ocho Rios/Runaway Bay Chapter yesterday at the Port Rhodes Sports Club at Noranda Bauxite in Discovery Bay, St Ann.
Despite admitting that Falmouth is rapidly developing, with hundreds of houses being built in the last few years following the opening of the cruise shipping port, Janice Carr, parish manager for St Ann and Trelawny, said the measure was necessary as the company sought to cut costs.
Customer care manager for St Ann and Trelawny, Karen Brown, later explained the reasoning behind the closure of the Falmouth office.
"Initially, based on the statistics that we have looked at, and there was a particular standard that we were being guided by, when they were assessed, Falmouth would fall into that sphere (that required closure)," Brown said.
Lucea and Port Antonio fall into the same category.
She added that measures would be put in place to facilitate customers in the three affected areas who want to address queries. Kiosks are expected to be used.
Customers will however be required to pay their bills through bill payment companies.
"In addition, we will be having our mobile offices so we will have our bus set up in strategic town areas to facilitate persons from the different communities that are in close proximity," Brown said.
The cost cutting measure comes as the JPS has been unable to collect millions of dollars in outstanding bills.
Currently, the government owes the JPS over J$9 billion for street lights alone. In February, it was revealed that the government was contemplating selling its 20 per cent stake in the company to help offset this debt.