Baguio bocaps back BENECO streetlight proposal

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BAGUIO CITY – The Liga ng mga Barangay–Baguio City chapter affirmed its support to the proposal of the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) that was formally submitted to the city government prescribing the terms and conditions on the maintenance and operation of the city’s streetlight system.

Under the Liga ng mga Barangay Board Resolution No. 31, series of 2019, the city’s punong barangays earnestly requested the city government to favourably consider the aforesaid proposal for adoption and eventual implementation to address the prevailing problems of barangays on the delayed replacement of busted streetlight bulbs in the different barangays.

Earlier, BENECO formally turned over to the city government the management and operation of the city’s streetlights after reportedly incurring huge losses when it was managing and operating the over 8,700 unmetered streetlights over the past 6 years.

Based on BENECO’s proposal, the electric cooperative will replace all unmetered high pressure sodium streetlight fixtures with Light Emitting Diode (LED) fixtures at no cost to the city government and that it will shoulder the required investment cost for the eventual conversion of the city’s streetlights to LED fixtures.

Further, BENECO will be responsible for the repairs and maintenance of the fixtures for a period of 10 years and it shall bill the city government based on the high pressure sodium streetlight consumption at 12 burning hours.

The electric cooperative committed it will reduce the city’s power bill on the unmetered streetlights by 40 percent,  equivalent to about P20 million annually starting on the 6th year up to the 10th year of maintenance and operation.

BENECO stated that based on its computations using actual January to June 2019 rates, the 10-year discount was projected to be around P100 million and that the amount of the actual discount, however, will depend on the prevailing electricity rate.

The average monthly energy consumption of the high pressure sodium fixtures is projected to be around 538,462 kilowatt-hours with an equivalent billing of P4,061,544 using the average rate during the first semester of the year.

In light of the passage of the Murang Koryente Act, BENECO stipulated there is a possibility the discount will be reduced due to the non-payment of stranded debt and stranded contract cost.

BENECO will only replace the existing unmetered high pressure sodium fixtures with LED fixtures while new streetlight installations shall be covered by a separate proposal and memorandum of agreement.

“It is the reception, understanding and confidence of the body that the above proposal will offer and provide a win-win solution as to the issue on the management and maintenance of streetlights that will redound to the welfare and benefit of the City of Baguio and the 128 barangays,” the resolution stressed.

The approved resolution was transmitted by the Liga ng mga Barangay to the different offices of the city government and BENECO for their information, guidance, ready reference and further needed action.

By Dexter A. See

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