December 5, 2022

Four more Benguet municipalities have signed deals with the Benguet Electric Cooperative for the maintenance of streetlights in the localities, an undertaking seen to help the local government units improve peace and order in their areas.

The latest towns that signed the memorandum of agreement for streetlights management with Beneco on May 6 are Tuba, Itogon, Tublay, and Kabayan.

The MOA signing passed to the Beneco the responsibility of managing and maintaining unmetered streetlights in the four towns until 2028.

As of the signing of the MOA, there are 9,995 unmetered streetlights to be managed and maintained by Beneco, spread out in the four municipalities.

Under the MOA, the LGUs will form inspection teams that will be responsible in conducting an inventory and reporting to Beneco the streetlights and other fixtures to be installed, replaced, or repaired.

Except for Kabayan that will pay Beneco the equivalent of 12 burning hours of the energy consumption of streetlights based on High-pressure Sodium wattage, all three towns agreed to pay Beneco the equivalent of 14 burning hours.

Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan said the assumption by Beneco of the task to maintain streetlights will ease the burden of LGUs in managing streetlights, aside from helping ensure peace and order in the localities.

“LGUs do not have the capacity to maintain streetlights,” he said, adding the undertaking will help deter the occurrence of crimes that usually occur in areas that are unlit.

Mayors Armando Lauro of Tublay and Clarita Sal-ongan of Tuba shared the view, saying their areas, which are traversed by national roads need reliable streetlights.

Beneco Board of Directors President Esteban Somngi said the MOA signing is an answer to clamor of LGUs in Benguet for Beneco to assume the management and maintenance of streetlights.

He said the Beneco BOD has so far approved the installation of more than 4,000 streetlights as of the signing of the MOA. – Jane B. Cadalig