BAGUIO CITY – The City Government wants to strike a new deal with the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) to come up with a ‘win-win solution’ that will address the huge losses incurred by the rural electric cooperative in the maintenance and operation of the over 8,000 streetlight fixtures over the past five years.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said he is willing to take the matter up with BENECO General Manager Gerardo P. Verzosa to address the concerns raised by the cooperative for the effective and efficient maintenance of the city’s streetlights, sayi8ng that BENECO had been doing well in its assigned takes over the past five years since the agreement was signed.
“We are very much willing to discuss the issues raised by BENECO regarding the huge losses it suffered since it started maintaining the city’s streetlights so that we will be able to come to terms for the cooperative to continue maintaining and operating the streetlights around the city,Domogan stressed.
Earlier, BENECO signified its intention to rescind its agreement with the local government for the former to maintain and operate the city’s streetlights in 2011 while awaiting the conversion of the conventional streetlight system to the more acceptable and much cheaper and environmentally-friendly Light Emitting Diode (LED) in order for the city to save on the huge power consumption.
Despite the passage of Resolution No. 446, series of 2011 which adopted the terms of reference for the city’s LED lighting system, the local government was not able to pursue the project because of the failure of the Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) to agree on which of the latest technology will be applicable to the city.
Domoganclaimed BENECO had been doing well in maintaining and operating the city’s streetlight system since it took over the same and that the cooperative was also able to do other things beneficial to the greater majority of the populace through the years, thus, revisiting the previous agreement will not be a problem on the part of the city as long as everyone will be transparent for a better appreciation of the overall situation.
According to him, the issues raised by the cooperative in relation to its huge losses when it had been maintaining and operating the city’s streetlights are valid and legitimate which both parties have to address through the conduct of a series of consultations before forging a new agreement for the purpose considering that barangay officials had expressed their desire to have the streetlights maintained and operated by the cooperative considering that their requests for the replacement of bust streetlights and attend to others encountering problems had been given preferential attention by BENECO through the years.
BENECO officials claimed almost 70 percent of the complaints being received by their personnel are in relation to the concerns raised by concerned residents relative to the status of the streetlights in their respective areas which is an indication that bulk of the attention of their technical personnel are focused in dealing with the streetlights around the city when the local government is only paying the equivalent of 12 burning hours as its obligation to the cooperative.
By Dexter A. See