BENECO workers assail flawed NEA-BOA decision

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BAGUIO CITY– Concerned employees and member-consumer-owners of the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) continue to raise concern on the repeated failure of the National electrification Administration – Board of Administrators (NEA-BOA) to put premium on the qualifications and competence of the two applicants for the position of general manager of the electric cooperative (EC) when it insisted to forcibly appoint an unqualified and not recommended individual to the said post.

In their letter to the NEA-BOA dated August 4, 2021, officers and members of the BENECO Employees Union (BeLU) and the BENECO Supervisors Association (BSA) questioned the decision of the NEA_BOA to proceed with the final interview of Atty. Marie Rafael when the NEA-Institutional Development Department stated that she was not able to submit proof of a 5-year managerial experience in a success full distribution utility.

Further, the NEA-BOA was also questioned on why it pushed through to appoint the aforesaid applicant when the University of the Philippines College of Psychology stipulated that she was not allegedly recommended for appointment to the position of general manager.

“We are deeply bothered. We wish to known the answers as member-consumer-owners and employees of BENECO. Our right to know is based on the right to public information guaranteed by the 1987 Constitution, the Ease of Doing Business Act and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees,” the officers and the members of the two labor unions stressed.

Earlier, NEA-IDD Director Nollie Alamillio officially on record bared before the legislative inquiry in aid of legislation of the city council on May 19, 2021 that one of the applicants to the position of BENECO general manager has not submitted proof of one of the minimum requirements for the said post which was the 5-year managerial experience of a successful distribution utility pursuant to NEA- Memorandum No. 2017-035.

Moreover, the same manifestation was broadcasted by Director Alamillio during the legislative inquiry in aid of legislation held by the House Committee on energy on June 2, 2021.

Ironically, in a Memorandum for the NEA Administrator dated February 1, 2021, the UP College of Psychology allegedly informed the NEA that Atty. Rafael was not recommended for appointment for the position of general manager.

On the other hand, based on the results of the emotional quotient (EQ), intelligence quotient (IQ) and adversarial quotient (AQ) examinations of the 2 applicants, incumbent BENECO general manager Engr. Melchor S. Licoben was reportedly way ahead in the IQ examination and initial interview.

According to the information that reached the BELU and BSA, Licoben garnered a score of 96.30 percent while Atty. Rafael obtained only 87.83 percent.

The groups claimed that the NEA-BOA was appraised off the results that were obviously disregarded by the same for still unknown reasons. The NEA-BOA also participated in the congressional inquiry but it seems the evident lapses on their part continue to be tolerated for whatever reasons that are only known to the alleged erring members.

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