Issue of July 9, 2017
Mt. Province

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BENECO weighs options on LED streetlights system in city
by Harley F. Palangchao

Benguet Electric Cooperative wants to review the viability of partnering with a reputable private firm wanting to bid for the maintenance of the streetlights fixtures in Baguio using the light emitting diode (LED) technology.

Beneco General Manager Gerardo Verzosa has formally written City Administrator Carlos Canilao through the City Mayor’s Office to request for a copy of the terms of reference (TOR) of the bidding for the LED-technology fixtures particularly on the maintenance aspect for study by Beneco.

Verzosa informed City Hall that Beneco has been receiving various offers from interested and potential bidders for the city’s LED lighting fixtures inclusive of the streetlights.

These potential investors, Verzosa said, sought partnership with Beneco for the maintenance of this LED-technology fixtures, which the city government wanted to adopt since the technology is cost efficient.

The City Engineer’s Office, which oversees streetlight concerns for the city government, has no capability or expertise in maintaining LED technology fixtures.

At present, the city government wants to bid out the replacement of existing high-pressure sodium (HPS) streetlights with LED technology, including its management, operation and maintenance.

“Beneco is seriously considering a proponent with the best viable offer as partner in the bidding of the city’s streetlight fixtures,” reads the letter of Verzosa to City Hall.

To recall, Beneco, which currently oversees the maintenance of the city’s streetlights until the LED technology has been implemented, expressed support to the city’s plan to replace all streetlight fixtures LED technology including the 8,600 fixtures maintained by the company.

Beneco said implementation of the LED project will translate to saving energy expenses in terms of electric consumption.

Through Beneco’s board of directors,  Resolution 77 s. 2015 was passed reiterating the electric coop’s previous request for the city government to implement its LED plan.

The request came after Beneco was informed that the city council through Resolution 446 s. 2011 approved the TOR for the replacement with LED bulbs all existing streetlights, park lights, including lights in the overpasses, flyovers, and city-owned buildings and facilities.

But since the approval of the TOR in December 2011 and supposed updated TOR, the LED project of the city has not been fully realized and Beneco, in many occasions, expressed support to the project even if it will be implemented by other qualified private entity.

For four years now, Beneco has been extending assistance for maintenance and replacement of streetlight bulbs inclusive of its cost of repair in view of the city’s approval to be billed for 12-hour usage of unmetered streetlights only.

While it claimed that it has been efficient in maintaining the management and operation of the city’s unmetered streetlights, Beneco will continue to incur substantial cost if the city prolongs the non-implementation of its LED project.

In 2015, Beneco spent almost P9 million for the maintainance of streetlights in the city.

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