BENECO consumers form empowered advocacy group

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BAGUIO CITY – Concerned member-consumer-owners of the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO organized themselves into a formidable group that will enhance and advance the interest of the electric cooperative and to educate the other uninformed consumers on the programs, projects and activities geared towards transparency and accountability.

The consumer group is called the Movement for Servant Leadership (MSL) which banks on the principles of Strengthening, Aligning, and Mobilizing for a Better Organization with Transparency and Values (SAMBO-TV).

The said group was founded by incumbent Benguet board member Juan Nazaro, Jr., former Baguio City Acting Vice Mayor and Councilor Leandro B. Yangot. Jr., Engr. Romulo Amistad, Engr. Timmy Nalibsan, Dr. Roberto Gumnad, Engr. Claudio Calugan, Ian Basil, Joel Dacanay and lawyer Joel Dizon.

The members of the organization are now making the rounds to the different barangays in the Baguio and Benguet barangays purposely to inform and educate the consumers on the ground on the status of the electric cooperative, empower them to become well aware and informed consumers and inculcate on them the importance of being vigilant on the latest developments in one of the country’s top performing electric cooperative.

One of the best things that ever happened in the country’s power industry is the creation of electric cooperatives like BENECO and being non-profit in nature, no profit margin will be included in the cost of power that will be passed on to the consumers.

The group also wants to protect BENECO from the possible entry of private corporations that will translate to a significant increase in the power cost with the inclusion of the profit margin of the prospective investors in the power rate being charged to the consumers.

Initially, BENECO registered with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) to further strengthen the involvement of the consumers in the affairs of the electric cooperative.

The group is also going around convincing consumers to already pay to BENECO their prescribed P500 capital share to be able to continue complying with the requirements for conversion. The said amount is equivalent to 5 shares per registered consumer.

The organizers asserted that it should be the people of Baguio and Benguet that should primarily enjoy the benefits of having natural resources and not the oligarchs who want to take advantage of the vast track of available water resources to profit from the same in the future.

If BENECO will be able to develop the potential of the abundant water resources in Benguet, the group claimed that the people will be able to reap the benefits of the same being the owners of the electric cooperative having paid their share capital.

According to the group, the game for privatization starts with the appointment of the general manager that is why consumers should be fully aware of the latest developments in BENECO to be able to be empowered to protect the same from being unjustly taken over by unqualified and not recommended applicants like what the National electrification Administration – Board of Administrators (NEA-BOA) did which is now causing the leadership impasse in the electric cooperative.

The group encouraged consumers to wake up and protect what they own before it will be too late in the day and for them to preserve a legacy that could be passed on to the future generations. By Hent

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