Mayor wants Palace to heed the clamor of Baguio, Benguet folk

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The city is calling on the Office of the President to heed the clamor of Baguio and Benguet leaders and member-consumer-owners of the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) to respect their decision on the appointment of the general manager of the electric cooperative to put an end to the ongoing leadership impasse which might affect the delivery of quality services and cheap power in its franchise area.

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong stated that he already sent a clear message to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to consider the overwhelming support of local leaders and MCOs to the BENECO management under the able leadership of re-installed general manager Engr. Melchor S. Licoben that is why it is high time for the Palace to review the questionable resolution of the National electrification Administration – Board of Administrators (NEA-BOA) insisting on the installation of lawyer Ana Marie Rafael as the general manager of the electric cooperative.

He claimed that the Department of Energy (DOE) and NEA should resolve the issue by listening to the clamor of the people of Baguio and Benguet that clearly manifested their support to the management headed by Engr. Licoben and not to allow the situation to go out of control.

In his message to Executive Secretary Medialdea, the local chief executive underscored that the local government does not want any disruption in the services being provided by BENECO because of the brewing leadership impasses that is why city and Benguet officials want the matter to be immediately resolved by the very agencies that created the said problem.

Further, he added that the recent forcible takeover done by the NEA-appointed general manager Rafael is generating strong opposition from the people of Baguio and Benguet as evidenced by the recent statements from local leaders and the consumers themselves posted in the various social media platforms.

According to him, he already made a strong stand over 6 months ago against the evidently orchestrated replacement of the present general manager in the person of Engr. Licoben, who possesses very good leadership and managerial skills aside from being highly competent, efficient and humble.

The mayor emphasized to Secretary Medialdea that Engr. Licoben is well respected by his employees, peers, colleagues and consumers.

More importantly, he argued that there are no integrity issues against him so the big question is why is BENECO being fixed even if it is not broken.

Moreover, he imparted that it is the consumers that are affected by the takeover and the ongoing brewing leadership impasse and that they are now becoming restless.

He disclosed that local leaders and BENECO consumers will continue to fight it out for the present leadership because they know it is the right thing to do to save the cooperative from being downgraded.

He pointed out that the matter must be dealt with accordingly by no less than the office of the President with a sense of urgency and that they will not allow the cooperative to be simply taken over by people who do not have the experience to manage the operations of BENECO. By Dexter A. See

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