BAKUN, Benguet – It was God-given.
This was the chorus here of households from nine sitios in Kayapa, Bakun and two sitios from Tacadang, Kibungan on Oct. 18 when their villages got what they dreamt for a long time – to have electricity.
The Benguet Electric Cooperative travelled for five hours for the ceremonial switch-on bringing with them doctors and dentists to underscore the need to bring power for homes in far flung areas.
Lecino Daniel, spokesperson of the beneficiaries of the government’s Sitio Electrification Program, said Beneco’s linemen did not stop working just to bring the wires and poles to his community.
“Despite bad weather and incessant rain that made their way slippery, the Beneco linemen refused to stop,” he said.
The new connections benefitted the sitios of Lipay, Labour, Sumap, Lipucan, Bilig, Lebba, Kiwet, Upper Teg-il, and Lower Biling in Kayapa, Bakun and sitios Lanipew and Asug in Tacadang, Kibungan.
Household members from Tacadang trekked to Kayapa to join the switch-on that was also graced by Kibungan Mayor Cesar Molitas, Vice Mayor Edwin Nitron, and Beneco task force chairperson Steve Cating.
In Kayapa, P5.49 million was used to fund the put-up of 73 poles, 2.5 kilometers of primary lines, and 1.4 kilometers of secondary lines. A total of P1.99M was used in Tacadang for the put-up of 27 posts, 1.5 kilometers of primary lines, and 1.4 kilometers of secondary lines.
National Electrification Administration representatives were present during the program as they earlier conducted an inspection of the project’s completion.
The energized areas were included in the P80-M sitio energization program granted by the NEA to Beneco in 2020.
Daniel, a father of six children and a long time resident of Sitio Lipay in Bakun was very grateful.
“Nepnep idi, ket kasla da la bakes idiay nagalis nga poste ket ipapilit da uray agtudtudo piman. Nagurnong kami ti pinangsangailimi kanyada. Nakitak ti trabahoda ta kinuykuyog ko ida. Dios ti talged tayu, ket agyaman kami ti daydiay inyeg yu nga silaw kadakami, iay panangilibre yu diay metro mi. Ni Apo Dios kuma ti mangsubadi diay ayat yu kadakami. Dios ti agngina,” said Daniel, 72.
Cating said the energization is an example of public service at its best.
“Beneco will continue to provide light without immediately considering the return of investments,” he said.
Mateo Langpaoen, Kayapa barangay chair, expressed his gratitude in behalf of his constituents.
He said in their desire to finally have power, the residents themselves helped carry the posts from the nearest road to their sitios.
“The terrain proved very challenging for the Beneco team that worked on the project. It is very difficult to string the power lines along the towering mountains of Kayapa,” recalled Mario Calatan, a Beneco engineer.
Joining the switch-on were the Baguio Lions Club Everlasting, the Philippine Dental Association, private medical volunteers, donors for the “Boxes of Joy” gifts and books from Maricar Docyogen of Bookends.
The dental group served 204 residents while the medical group attended to 180 patients. Around 112 eye check-ups were also conducted. – Laarni S. Ilagan