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LA Trinidad, Benguet – Benguet caretaker congressman and Anti-crime Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party List Rep. Eric Go Yap assured resident in remote villages in the different part of the province that his office will exert extra effort in sourcing out available resources to sustain the energization of non-viable areas enclose coordination with the Benguet Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BENECO).
Congressman Yap, who chairs the powerful House Committee on Appropriations, recently met with newly installed BENECO General Manager Engr. Melchor S. Licoben to discuss how his office will be of help in fulfilling the realization of the government’s rural electrification program instil unenergized communities in Benguet.
BENECO is the franchise holder of power distribution in Baguio City and Benguet where its franchise is expected to expire by 2028.
The lawmaker informed the new BENECO manager that he will make the necessary representations with the Department of Energy (DOE) and National Electrification Administration (NEA) to provide the appropriate assistance to the electric cooperatives to continue the implementation of energization projects in numerous unenergized villages located in the 13 towns of the province. For this year, the government earmarked more or less 90million pesos for the energization of some 79 sitios where the preconstruction activities were supposed to start early this year.
However, the implementation of the aforesaid projects where suspended because of the implementation of the Luzonwide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) over the past three months.
Congressman Yap commended the efforts of BENECO to pursue the implementation of the government rural electrification program because the availability of cheap power and reliable power distribution system in the countryside will help in attracting investors to infuse the needed capital to spur economic growth in remote areas.
BENECO is one of the few electric cooperative in the country that was able to improve its previous ailing status into one of the top performing cooperatives belonging to the elite class AAA category despite having to sustain the power supply of many non-viable communities.
Yap claimed that government must continue to invest in the implementation of energization programs that will ensure that millions of households in rural areas around the country will have access to electricity because it is one of the game changers, especially in spurred country side development which has been among the priorities of concerned government agencies and local governments.
Last May 1, 2020 Licoben assumed as the new BENECO general manager following the retirement from service of former General Manager Gerardo P. Verzosa effective last April 30, 2020.
Engr. Licoben was one of the members of the team organized by the former general manager that spearheaded the transformation of BENECO from an ailing cooperative to one of the top performing electric cooperatives in the country today.
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis