NEA, BENECO urged to compromise to avert power disruptions

Published November 21, 2021, 12:07 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Sunday urged officials of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) and Bengue Electric Cooperative (BENECO) to reach a compromise to ensure there would be no power disruptions in Baguio, which is a highly urbanized city.

Gatchalian, chair of the Senate Committee on Energy said he is concerned that the leadership impasse could affect the operations of BENECO that is why efforts to reach a middle ground with the employees and officers of the utility company is a must.

“My worry is the stability of the operations of BENECO. Baguio is a highly urbanized city and BENECO supplies electricity to Baguio and 13 towns in the province of Benguet,” Gatchalian said in a statement.

“Seeing your electric cooperative being manhandled doesn’t send a good signal to consumers and that is a concern,” he further said.

Gatchalian said he has already asked NEA to look into the matter and find a compromise rather than resort to litigation or a forceful implementation.

“Residents and business owners alike are worried if there will be any sabotage in the operations of BENECO or if disruptions in their electricity supply will take place in the days to come,” he aded.

Gatchalian also said the Senate energy panel will push through with its planned inquiry into the issues hounding BENECO’s take over.

A complaint has been filed by BENECO against a NEA official, former PCOO Assistant Secretary lawyer Ana Marie Rafael, and several others before the city prosecutor’s office after the takeover of BENECO’s main headquarters on October 18.

NEA appointed Rafael as BENECO’s general manager but who was later rejected by the power cooperative board.