NEA pressures Beneco board to act on GM appointment

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BAGUIO CITY – The National Electrification Administration (NEA) is now allegedly employing tremendous pressure to the members of the Board of Directors of the Benguet Electric Cooperative (Beneco) to act on the resolution of the Board of Administrators (BOA) on the appointment of its general manager amidst the snowballing protest of member-consumer-owners on the highly questionable selection process.

In his letter dated May 6, 2021 addressed to the Beneco Board of Directors through its president lawyer Esteban A. Somngi, NEA Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong stated that the action of the board on NEA RB Resolution No. 2021-047 must be manifested through a board resolution to be submitted to NEA for confirmation on or before May 14, 2021.

On April 29, 2021, the NEA Board of Administrators passed RB Resolution No. 2021-047 that approved the endorsement of the candidate with the highest score in the final interview for the position of Beneco general manager referring to Presidential Communications Operations Officer (PCOO) Assistant Secretary Ana Marie Rafael.

Further, Masongsong reminded Beneco of the one-year performance management contract (PMC) which will be executed by and between Beneco and the controversially endorsed applicant as provided under existing rules and regulations.

However, under NEA Memorandum No. 2017-035 dated October 24, 2017, there was no explicit declaration on the period that the Beneco Board of Directors need to act on the aforesaid resolution, especially that there are issues and concerns being raised against the NEA resolution which was described to have grossly violated the prescribed selection process.

Earlier, concerned members of the Beneco Board of Directors and officers of the employees labor union questioned the NEA for its inability to recommend the two qualified applicants for the position of general manager, incumbent officer-in-charge Engr. Melchor S. Licoben and Atty. Rafael, who both passed the stringent requirements prescribed for the purpose as explicitly stated in the rules and regulations.

In the same letter addressed to the NEA Board of Administrators, the issue on how Atty. Rafael qualified on the required 5 years’ experience in the management and operation of an electric cooperative and the trainings appurtenant to the said position was raised but it seems the NEA ignored the same.

Last year, the Beneco board adopted the second option in the selection of its general manager when it appointed Engr. Licoben to occupy the said sensitive post but the NEA, unwittingly or wittingly, suddenly issued a communication that accepted the application of Atty. Rafael when there was no position of general manager to speak of as the same had already been filled up. By HENT

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