BAGUIO CITY – The Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) signified its intention to turnover to the local government the management of its over 8,000 streetlights following the decision of the members of the Board of Directors to accept and approve the recommendation of management to do so because of the huge operational expenses incurred by the electric cooperative over the past six years.
According to BENECO Board President Rocky M. Aliping, the electric cooperative stated that the turnover of the management and operation of the city’s streetlights will be effective 30 days upon the receipt of the same by the local government so that its maintenance personnel could concentrate their efforts in working out the continuous upgrading of its system, among other major concerns that have been left out.
Earlier, BENECO received a letter from Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan stating, among others, that the local government received an unsolicited proposal for the replacement of its streetlights to Light Emitting Diode (LED) wherein the same will be undertaken through the private-public partnership (PPP) that will commence anytime.
However, BENECO pointed out that since the electric cooperative took over the management of the city’s streetlights, 40 percent of the complaints received by its maintenance crew were related to the replacement of busted streetlights, among other concerns on streetlights aside from the fact that over P6 million was spent for the said purpose spread over the past six years.
In 2011, the local legislative body approved Resolution 446, series of 2011 which provided for the terms of reference for the conversion of the streetlighting system to LED and authorizing the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) to bid out the said project.
Ironically, the BAC was not able to successfully bid out the project over the past eight years because of issues and concerns raised by several members on technical matters that were never addressed to date.
In 2014, BENECO entered into an agreement with the local government for the transfer of the management and operation of the city’s streetlights to the former until such time that the city will convert its street lighting system to LED wherein maintenance expenses will be computed based on 12 burning hours pursuant to the standards of the industry.
The notice of termination stated that once the maintenance and operation of the streetlights will be turned over to the local government, the billings of the consumption of the streetlights will be based on 10 burning hours.
BENECO asserted it is high time for the electric cooperative to focus on sustaining the improvement of its current distribution system to benefit the member-consumers in terms of the quality and reliability of the system coupled with the continuous reduction of systems loss resulting to efficient and effective service.
The electric cooperative claimed that despite the impending turnover of the management and operation of the streetlights to the local government effective February 26, 2019, BENECO will still be open to discuss issues and concerns related to the same for the selection of the most qualified supplier for the purpose of converting to LED.
Banner photo by: Guilf Nadunop