BENECO wants to maintain Baguio streetlights anew

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BAGUIO CITY  – The Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) suddenly made a 360-degree turn as it again signified its intention to upgrade the city-s over 10,000 streetlights to the modern and more efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED).

In his letter to Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, BENECO board president Rocky M. Aliping stated that ‘we firmly believe that this is now the best possible solution available at the moment to address the clamor of the public for streetlights.’

In January 2019, BENECO sent notice to the local government that it intends to return the management of the over 8,701 streetlights to the city effective February considering the considerable losses that the electric cooperative incurred during the over 6 years that it maintained the existing high pressure sodium bulbs.

On February 4, 2019, former Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan requested BENECO to continue handling the management and the repairs and maintenance of the nearly 9,000 streetlights in the city and that the monthly power consumption of which is being paid by the people.

The same sentiment was conveyed by the members of the local legislative body in its Resolution No. 101, series of 2019 that BENECO continue handling the management and repairs and maintenance of the city’s streetlights.

Aliping stated that My Green Lighting Corporation (MGLC), a maker of LED streetlight fixtures with a manufacturing plant located at the Cavite Export Processing Zone in Rosario, Cavite presented to the BENECO board a hard-to-come-by proposal to convert all the existing unmetered high pressure sodium streetlights of the city to the modern and more cost efficient LED streetlight fixtures.

On July 9, 2019, the members of the BENECO board passed Resolution No. 2019-77 which authorized the management to make an unsolicited proposal to the local government for the replacement and upgrading of the unmetered high pressure sodium streetlights to the more efficient LEDs to include their repairs and maintenance for a period of 10 years.

Under BENECO’s proposal to the local government, the electric cooperative shall replace all existing unmetered high pressure sodium streetlight fixtures with LED fixtures at no cost to the city.

Further, BENECO shall shoulder the required investment cost for the conversion of the high pressure sodium streetlights to LED aside from being responsible for the repair and maintenance of the upgraded streetlight fixtures for a period of 10 years.

According to the proposal, BENECO shall bill the local government unit based on the high pressure sodium fixtures consumption at 12 burning hours using the average rate of streetlights from January to June 2019.

More importantly, BENECO shall extend P100 million as rebate and financial benefit to the city covering the 10-year cooperation period and that the same will be given annually in the amount of P10 million spread over the prescribed period.

BENECO shall only replace the existing unmetered high pressure sodium streetlight fixtures with LED fixtures wherein new streetlight installations shall be covered by a separate agreement.

By HENT
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis

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