BENECO explores techs under new normal
The Benguet Electric Cooperative has suspended implementation of infrastructure projects set for 2020, but continues to explore technologies that not only will hasten its services, but will also adjust to the new normal.
Engr. Melchor Licoben, OIC general manager, said to lessen queues at its collection centers, Beneco will expand its online banking system by negotiating with several banks for accreditation for bills transfer payments using online apps.
For customer service, Beneco will strengthen its call center and Facebook account to minimize face-to-face interaction with clients.
For billing, Licoben said Beneco will also pursue plans of remote meter reading using and for linemen to be on-call instead of being required to periodically be present at their office.
“This is the way to the future,” Licoben said of the adjustments being made to lessen mobility to avoid getting infected of the Covid-19 infection.
Beneco has suspended implementation of projects programmed for 2020 due to losses. These projects include expansion of its South Drive headquarters worth P20 million and P40M for the construction of a warehouse and training center at Longlong in Baguio.
Since March, Beneco has registered P126M losses, P30M of which is retained by Beneco.
He said this has also affected payment of its loans and remittances to the Energy Regulation Commission.
Licoben said the Development Bank of the Philippines has waived the penalty for late payment and agreed to move the payment date to September, instead of May for its loan for the three-megawatt Man-asok mini-hydro project in Buguias, Benguet.
Licoben said he hopes the easing of quarantine restrictions to enable businesses to resume operation and therefore can increase energy consumption. – Rimaliza A. Opiña