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BAGUIO CITY – The Benguet Electric Cooperative will soon launch an information campaign to rally members towards registering the consumers’ utility as a genuine cooperative and save it from being bought by enterprising private companies.
Having developed as one of the country’s most viable electric cooperatives, Beneco has become attractive to private investors out to buy and privatize the same, to the disadvantage of thousands of consumer-members.
“Conversion into a genuine cooperative is our only shield against speculators eyeing to buy Beneco which has developed into one of the country’s most viable power distribution systems,” Verzosa said.
This view was supported in three recent general membership assemblies of Beneco which voted to convert the system into a stock cooperative by registering it with the Cooperative Develoment Agency.
A total of 14,010 members voted for CDA registration, whittled down to 2,476 in Tublay, Benguet, 3,234 in Bokod, Benguet and 8,300 during the membership assembly meeting lastJune 15 at the Burnham Park athletic bowl.
The Beneco board headed by director Rocky Aliping is awaiting approval by the National Electrification Administration of the resolutions to convert before launching the information dissemination campaign towards conversion into a genuine cooperative.
The conversion of electric systems in the country as quasi-cooperatives was ordered by the late President Ferdinand Marcos who privatized the country’s telephone systems and converted water districts s government corporations.
Beneco’s viability and attractiveness to private power distributors are mainly due to its becoming one of the top performing cooperatives in the country.
Steered by general manager Gerardo Verzosa, Beneco captured eight national awards during the 2018 national Lumen Awards last April 28 inTagum city.
At the top of the honors was the award for “Single Digit System Loss of the Year” award for Beneco’s reducing its systems loss to 9.08, resulting in savings converted to millions of pesos.
Beneco was likewise cited for its 100 percent collection efficiency, reduced power rate of P7.1292 per kilowatthour, lowest power rate (on grid), best in collection performance, model headquarters facilities, Triple A category award, aside from certificates of recognition for participation in Task Force Kapatid for victims of Typhoon Lawin and Typhoon Nina, and exemplary management award for the general manager.
The cooperative is being assisted in its conversion information campaign by former national cooperatives president Renato Fernandez, former cooperative manager Peter Cosalan and cooperatives head Rafael Gayaso.
By Ramon Dacawi