Mayor Benjamin Magalong has sought the help of civic organizations to continue rallying behind the Benguet Electric Cooperative Inc. (BENECO) to protect interest and the welfare of the consumers amid what he called the “dirty tactics” being employed by the group of Atty. Marie Rafael.
“Right now, it has become a war of attrition. Sinasakal ang present management hanggang hindi na maging maayos ang kanilang serbisyo at masira sila sa tao. What is saddening is they are doing this at the expense of the consumers,” the mayor told a media briefing.
“Kaya dapat mag-mobilize pa rin ang mga consumer groups na hindi dapat payagan itong ganitong gawain. We have to act now and mobilize and deplore this kind of tactic. Dirty tactics ito,” the mayor said.
He said the move of the group of Rafael that had banks refrain from releasing funds to the present management will definitely affect the cooperative’s cash flow resulting to the power firm’s failure to pay their suppliers and service providers and eventually cause the disruption of power supply to the detriment of the consumers.
He said pressure groups should also support the call for solutions to avert a potential crisis caused by the continuing impasse.
“Let’s rally behind this dahil unang una, napakaganda ng serbisyo ng BENECO. Gold standard ‘yan tapos bigla-bigla lang nilang guguluhin. Let’s make sure na maiayos ang gulo at mamanage ang risk para tuloy-tuloy ang serbisyo at hindi maapektuhan ang mga tao.”
He said he had already suggested risk management measures and is awaiting response hoping that the National Electrification Administration will take the lead.
“NEA should find a way to resolve this. At least on our part, nasabi ko na as a way of caution to them. ‘You know, something might happen and you have to act,’” he said.
He said such strategic and proactive measures are in order considering the potential impact of the current developments arising from the leadership dispute to consumers not only in Baguio but also in Benguet.
In his statement released earlier, the mayor suggested that parties and depository banks involved enter into a financial risk arrangement through escrow agreements where banks can directly remit payments to power suppliers and third-party providers.
“This will ensure that BENECO’s monthly obligations are settled on time and thereby averting the risk of disconnection of power supply or interruption of services,” the mayor said.