BAGUIO CITY – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian criticized the National Electrification Administration (NEA) and its Board of Administrators (BOA) for continuously harassing electric cooperatives (ECs), especially the Benguet Electric Cooperative (Beneco), by imposing their will on the appointment of a general managers and in coming out with illegal policies relative to the same.
Gatchalian, who graced the information and education campaign conducted by Beneco member-consumer-owners (MCOs) in its main headquarters along South Drive here, pointed out that the NEA-BOA should not interfere in the appointment of the general manager of top performing electric cooperatives like Beneco since its primary duty is to look after the welfare of ailing cooperatives in the different parts of the country.
He underscored that the power to appoint the general manager of Class AAA and green category cooperatives is lodged with the Board of Directors who have been duly elected by the MCOs as the same is the benefit of top performing electric cooperatives for being able to provide their consumers with cheap power and efficient and effective services, thus, NEA-BOA has no business interfering in their affairs primarily because of good management.
The chairman of the Senate committee on energy claimed that the NEA-BOA over reached its powers when it insisted to appoint an applicant for Beneco general manager despite the fact that the Board of Directors were already able to put in place a qualified applicant for the said position way ahead of the NEA-BOA’s questionable decision.
According to him, NEA-BOA and its appointee should respect the decision of both chambers for a status quo in the leadership of Beneco with Engr. Melchor S. Licoben being the recognized general manager because it is part of the duty of the legislative branch of government to do check and balance in the actions of the executive branch through the various departments, thus, it is not true that the approved resolutions for status quo on the Beneco leadership has no bearing as alleged by the appointee of the NEA-BOA.
Senator Gatchalian disclosed that both the Senate and the House will continue to be vigilant on future developments in the prevailing leadership impasse in one of the country’s top performing electric cooperative because they do not want that the abuses of the NEA-BOA and its appointee will be tolerated which might cause the downfall of the electric cooperative which had worked hard to earn the aforesaid status over the past 3 decades.
He claimed that the Senate committee on energy will continue to look for possible ‘win-win solutions’ to the prevailing Beneco leadership impasse amidst the ongoing harassments being done by the NEA-BOA on the electric cooperative and other similarly situated electric cooperatives in the different parts of the country so that the power distribution sector will not be compromised by such questionable actions of the regulatory agency.
Senator Gatchalian urged the Beneco MCOs to be vigilant on future actions of the NEA-BOA that will further affect the current status of the cooperative so that appropriate interventions will be done by both the Senate and the House to prevent the gains of the electric cooperative from being wasted and compromised with unqualified appointees who will be on board.