Baguio, Benguet leaders want status quo on BENECO leadership

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BAGUIO CITY – Baguio and Benguet officials want feuding parties contesting the position of general manager of the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) to observe the status quo order issued by the House committee on energy until it releases its committee report on the alleged over breach of the National Electrification Administration–Board of Administrators (NEA-BOA) of its powers in the appointment of the general manager of the electric cooperative.

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong stated that the ongoing standoff on the BENECO leadership is unfortunate that has greatly affected the operation of one of the top performing electric cooperative in the country, saying, “Let us all respect the status quo order handed down by the House committee on energy while issues are being threshed by the proper oversight authorities. The BENECO Board of Directors will be taking their own action for this but I pray that their decision will be driven by an interest to prioritize the highest quality of services which their consumers deserve.”

He pointed out that BENECO is a vital and essential service, and by all means, it is for the best interest of the public that the people who have been selected to lead it have the necessary competence, technical knowledge, track record and experience.

“For the sake of its employees who are facing uncertain times, and for its thousands of consumers, I appeal to the opposing personalities involved to put public interest first, and ensure that the services of the electric cooperative are not unduly disrupted or dragged into this stalemate,” he stated.

For his part, Itogon Mayor Victorio T. Palangdan, who is also the president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) Benguet chapter, asserted that concerned parties involved in the conflict should respect the status quo order handed down by the House committee on energy to allow the House committee on energy to thresh out the issues raised against the questionable resolutions handed down by the NEA-BOA insisting on the appointment of an unqualified and unrecommended applicant to the position of general manager of the electric cooperative.

Palangdan, who was once a president of the BENECO Board of Directors, claimed that there had been valid questions raised in the past regarding the qualifications and processes in the screening and selection of the general manager, and these remain unresolved, thus, the need for these to be appropriately addressed to clear any misconceptions on the processes undertaken by the NEA-BOA.

Earlier, the House Committee on Energy acquired jurisdiction of the said matter and that it is keeping a close watch on the events that are unfolding and it is reviewing the procedures that have led to the current stalemate on the BENECO leadership.

Subsequently, the House committee issued a status quo order with respect to the position of BENECO general manager and that the committee is expected to be released the soonest to shed the much-needed clarity on the position and participation of the NEA-BOA on the said matter. By HENT

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