NEA okays BENECo’s early retirement program

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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The National Electrification Administration (NEA) approved the implementation of the early voluntary retirement program, inclusive of granting the one-year salary as additional incentive of employees of the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) who availed of the program as part of the cooperative’s manpower re-sizing.

In a letter addressed to the members of the BENECO Board of Directors dated April 30, 2015, NEA Administrator Edita S. Bueno said the agency reconsidered its earlier position not to grant the additional one-year salary benefit of those who availed of the early retirement program and confirmed BENECO Board Resolution No. 02, series of 2015 which affirmed the authority of the BENECO general manager Gerardo P. Verzosa to implement the aforesaid program inclusive of the additional incentive of those who availed of the attractive retirement offer.

However, Bueno directed the BENECO t push through with the implementation of the early voluntary retirement program, provided that, the same shall be granted as a one-time retirement policy only, after which, the regular retirement policy of the cooperative will be implemented.

Further, the NEA Administrator cited part of the conditions of the implementation of the early voluntary retirement program is that the new table of organization should be strictly implemented and availability of funds must be ensured to pay the additional one-year salary incentives of those who availed of the program.

“Finally, it is understood that BENECO Board and management will be fully accountable and responsible in informing its various stakeholders to ensure transparency in the implementation of the early voluntary retirement program, thus, mitigating future complaints,” Bueno stressed.

Earlier, the BENECO Board of Directors approved the implementation of the early voluntary retirement program and offered a one-year salary additional benefit to those who will be availing of the same in order to significantly reduce the duplication of functions and maximize the utilization of lean and mean power to provide quality services to the consumers of the rural electric cooperative.

It can be recalled that 17 rank and file employees, 16 supervisors and 2 department managers were able to avail of the cooperative’s early voluntary retirement program and with the NEA approval, they are set to receive the one-year salary additional incentive that will be granted to them to allow them to move on to their desired employment opportunities in the future.

On January 29, 2015, Verzosa wrote the NEA Administrator requesting for reconsideration of the implementation of the cooperative’s early voluntary retirement plan and Board Resolution No. 02-2015 considering that those who availed of the program were already separated from the service that that the cooperative was able to set aside sufficient funds to grant the one-year salary additional incentive.

Verzosa welcomed the NEA’s final decision to reconsider its position on the matter, saying that it will allow the employees who availed of the program to process their benefits and will put an end to the issues being raised by other sectors against the wisdom of implementing the duly approved retirement plan. By Dexter A. See

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