LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The municipal council authorized Mayor Romeo K. Salda to represent the municipal government to sign and enter into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) on the repair, replacement and maintenance of municipal streetlights subject to the prescribed conditions introduced by local legislators.
Earlier, BENECO general manager Engr. Melchor S. Licoben informed the members of the municipal council that the Board of Directors of the electric cooperative approved the proposed amendments to the MOA for the repair, replacement and maintenance of municipal streetlights numbering to more than 2,600 as per inventory conducted by the local government and BENECO representatives.
Among the main conditions of the proposed MOA include its 4-year duration where the municipal government will be obliged to pay the 12 burning hours consumption of all streetlights while BENECO will be fully in charge of their repair, replacement and maintenance; the MOA for the next 4 years will then be the subject of a continuing negotiation for terms and conditions that are mutually beneficial to both the municipality and BENECO, with the electric cooperative being given the option to replace the streetlight fixtures with light emitting diode (LED) provided that it shall initiate the execution of a new agreement with the municipal government on the said matter.
The council recommended that proper reconciliation of records on the previous billings of the electric cooperative pertinent to the municipal streetlights shall be coordinated with the Office of the Municipal Mayor for transparency and accountability purposes.
Prior to the approval of the amended MOA, representatives of BENECO and the municipal government jointly conducted an inventory of all the municipal streetlights in the town’s 16 barangays that will serve as the basis on the billing to be issued by the electric cooperative on the monthly consumption of the aforesaid fixtures.
Previously, BENECO returned to the different local governments the maintenance and operation of the streetlights in their respective areas of jurisdiction following the various issues and concerns that cropped up on the repair, replacement and maintenance of the same.
However, the municipal government thought it wise to negotiate with the electric cooperative stating its willingness to pay the required 12 burning hours of every streetlight fixture as a standard billing to ensure BENECO can recover its expenses for the long-term repair, replacement and maintenance of the existing streetlight fixtures in the various barangays.
BENECO and the local government will devise the appropriate monitoring system to ensure transparency in the implementation of the obligation of both parties as enshrined in the aforesaid agreement to ensure that the town’s barangays will be well lighted to help deter the occurrence of untoward incidents that will compromise the peace and order situation in the municipality.
Mayor Salda expressed his gratitude to the municipal council for their timely action on the proposed agreement so that the busted streetlight fixtures in the various barangays could already be repaired and replaced once the same shall be effective.
File photo by Armando M. Bolislis