CDA endorses BENECO stock cooperative registration

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BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Office of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA-CAR) favorably endorsed to the Board of Administrators the registration of the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) as a stock cooperative.

CDA-CAR Senior Cooperative Development Specialist and Information Officer-designate Martin Manodon disclosed that CDA-CAR regional director Atty. Franco Bawang already transmitted to the Board of Administrators the application of BENECO for registration as a stock cooperative to be governed administratively by the CDA and technically by the National Electrification Administration (NEA).

He claimed BENECO will have to await the approval by the Board of Administrators for its application for registration through the so-called board-initiated application before being required to complete the articles of incorporation with the attached affidavit of the cooperative treasurer on the assets of the same and the share capital of the members who will be natural persons.

During its sequential general assemblies held in strategic places within BENECO’s franchise area last June 2019, majority of the over 14,000 member-consumer-owners voted in favor of the registration of the electric cooperative to the CDA as a stock cooperative as part of the overall plan to prevent interested private distribution companies from easily taking over one of the top performing electric cooperatives in the country.

Under the CDA guidelines for board-initiated registration, at least 5 percent of the general membership who attended the assembly should vote in favor of the proposal to have the electric cooperative register with the CDA as a stock cooperative.

The CDA-CAR official asserted the registration of BENECO to CDA will not entail added expenses on the part of the members considering that BENECO is already making the necessary contributions of individual members based on one of the components of the rate which falls under the former membership contribution for capital expenditure and now known as the re-investment fund for sustainable capital expenditure.

BNECO is one of the few Class AAA electric cooperatives in the country which was able to sustain its single digit systems loss, 100 percent collection efficiency and one of those with a state-of-the-art headquarters that was given the necessary citation by the National electrification Administration amidst the existence of numerous non-viable areas within its franchise area that are undergoing energization through the government’s Sitio Electrification Program (SEP).

Previously, BENECO attempted twice to register with the CDA but such efforts were in vain because the members overwhelmingly voted against such initiative because of fears on the expected increase in power rates and the lack of capability of the CDA to supervise the operation of electric cooperatives which is considered to be highly technical that requires experts in the industry to do so.

Manodon expressed optimism the CDA Board of Administrators will formally act on BENECO’s application for registration with the CDA as a stock cooperative so that the electric cooperative can move on to the succeeding processes until such time that the same will be completed.

By Hent

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