June 24, 2024

Officials of the Benguet Electric Cooperative have scored their rivals on the general manager issue for attempting to create another office for the electric cooperative, which they claimed is far beyond the leadership row.
The board of directors and General Manager Melchor Licoben said that the moves of the “other parlor” to deploy their own linemen and bill collectors and the intent to create their own meter billing system is a clear attempt to erect another office aside from the main headquarters at South Drive, Baguio City.
“This will surely confuse member consumer owners (MCOs). The issue is the appointment of a GM and the fact that Atty. Ana Maria Paz Rafael was appointed as GM by the National Electrification Administration does not mean that she can create another Beneco to handle operations,” Licoben said.
If she is defied by the employees, then she has to go court, he said.
Licoben’s statements came after the electric cooperative learned that there were persons approaching consumers to pay their power bills to them, an act which is not sanctioned by company rules as power bills must be paid only at the authorized collection centers.
Beneco also earlier issued an advisory about persons presenting themselves as linemen from Rafael’s camp. Licoben said the legitimate linemen and maintenance contractors of Beneco are those who are dispatched and deployed daily from the Beneco office in South Drive, Baguio City.
Rafael’s camp has also earlier written government agencies that they must pay their bills to banks they have designated to receive payments.
The electric cooperative also got hold of a letter signed by Rafael addressed to big load consumers informing them about the implementation of a new Beneco billing and metering system.
The letter asked the establishments to sign the form for them to be included in the proposed system.
Licoben said these moves are a clear attempt to destabilize if not to cripple the already well placed systems of Beneco. “It is highly questionable if her inability to sit as GM in South Drive entitles her to create an office to assume the operational functions of the electric cooperative,” he said.
Of late, the board directors also approved Licoben’s move to write the Bureau of Internal Revenue to object to the request of Rafael that she be allowed to print official receipts for Beneco’s bills and other transactions.
“We caution you to be prudent in your action towards the application because granting the same will aggravate the chaos being faced by Beneco,” Licoben told BIR-CAR Director Douglas Rufino.
He said that there is already an existing Beneco tax identification number and authority to print official receipts for its operations.
The board directors said there is only one Beneco and its systems and operations are already in place and the put up of another system of operation is a duplication that will create chaos among consumers.
“The issue is about Rafael’s appointment as a GM. The systems of the electric cooperative remain the same and she must not be allowed to alter them,” they said. – Press release