BAGUIO CITY – Vice President Maria Leonor ‘Leni’ Robredo hailed the member-consumer-owners of the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) for their vigilance in protecting one of the country’s top performing electric cooperative from the alleged abuses being committed by the National Electrification Administration (NEA) in the appointment of the general manager.
Robredo pointed out that the problem with NEA is that it seems to have over reached its supervisory powers when its supposed role is to simply make sure that those applicants for general manager are really qualified for the said position.
The Vice President claimed that BENECO consumers were prompt in their action to protect their interest over the cooperative from the evident abuses of the NEA on the controversial appointment of the general manager which was done by the regulatory agency instead of leaving the matter to the members of the Board of Directors who have the power to do so.
While the NEA is bestowed with supervisory powers over electric cooperatives, Robredo explained that what the regulatory agency should do is to empower electric cooperatives to further improve their existing operations and provide consumers with cheap and quality power like what BENECO has done over the past 3 decades that allowed the same to be recognized as one of the few Class AAA cooperatives in the country.
According to her, what NEA is doing is to insist on its interest over electric cooperatives rather than empowering the same to sustain the government’s gains in the implementation of the government’s rural electrification program.
Vice President Robredo encouraged the BENECO consumers to remain vigilant on the upcoming developments in the ongoing leadership impasses so that they will be able to assert for their rights in ensuring that the performing electric cooperative will be able to have a general manager who is qualified, competent and knowledgeable of the complicated power industry for BENECO to be able to sustain its standing as one of the country’s top performing rural electric cooperative in the country.
The leadership impasse in BENECO transpired when the NEA-BOA insisted to appoint an unqualified and not recommended applicant for the position of general manager even if the board of Directors already appointed an insider for the said position pursuant to the provisions of Resolution No. 2020-90 approved by the Board of Directors on April 21, 2020.
The NEA unilaterally opened the position of general manager simply to entertain an endorsement from the Office of the President to entertain the application of a former Assistant Secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) even if the same was not actually qualified and not recommended for the said coveted position.
The said applicant was not able to meet the prescribed 5-year experience in the management of a successful electric cooperative or related business, the pertinent related trainings and that the former PCOO official was not also recommended by the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Psychology to be appointed as the general manager having allegedly failed the examinations administered for the said purpose. By HENT