BAGUIO CITY – Some 59 remote villages in nearby Benguet were energized by the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) this year midst the missing P58.6 million funds earmarked by the National Electrification Administration (NEA) for the continuous implementation of the government’s Sitio Energization Program (SEP).
BENECO General Manager Engr. Melchor S. Licoben disclosed that aside from the 59 sitios that were already energized, 6 villages have ongoing energization projects, 5 sitios are ready for energization and 2 villages have electric poles delivered.
Further, he added that of the 59 energized sitios, 38 already underwent the ceremonial switching ceremonies that were attended by concerned barangay and municipal officials and BENECO officers and members of the Board of Directors.
Tuba had the highest number of energized sitios with 11, followed by Kapangan with 8 energized sitios, Atok, Kabayan and Tublay – 7 energized sitios each, Bokod, Kibungan and Sablan – 5 energized sitios each, Mankayan – 2, Bakun and Buguias – 1 each.
On the other hand, Bakun had the highest number of sitios that are ongoing energization with 8 villages followed by Kibungan with 6 sitios and Tuba with 1.
Kabayan had the highest number of sitios that are for energization with 3 while Kapangan and Tuba had 1 sitio each that are lined up for energization.
The sitio that have been delivered with the poles to be used for the energization are located in Kibungan and Sablan with 1 sitio each.
Moreover, Tuba had the highest number with sitios that had undergone the switch on ceremony with 8 followed by Tublay and Kapangan with 7 villages each, Atok – 5, Bokod and Kibungan – 4 sitios each and Sablan – sitios.
Earlier, BENECO was able to acquire some P80 million from the NEA for the implementation of the government’s SEP to help in realizing the main objective of the rural electrification program.
However, the more than P58.6 million that had been downloaded by the NEA to the account of BENECO with the Land Bank of the Philippines purposely to pay the contractor of the aforesaid project suddenly went missing after the camp of purported general manager Ana Maria Paz Rafael allegedly changed the signatories to the said account that prevented the present management to access the funds to settle its obligation to the project implementer.