BENECO franchise bill backed
The city council has unanimously approved a resolution “strongly supporting” the passage of House Bill 6145 which seeks to grant a legislative franchise to Benguet Electric Cooperative, Inc. to construct, install, establish, operate, and maintain a generation and distribution system for the conveyance of electric power to the end users in Baguio City and all the municipalities of Benguet.
Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan, the resolution’s author, quoted Baguio Rep. Marquez Go’s statement that granting a legislative franchise to Beneco “will ensure the continuous supply and delivery of affordable, efficient, and safe electric power to the people of Baguio City and the Province of Benguet.”
On Nov. 15, 2022, Go filed before the Congress HB 6145 for the renewal of the 50-year franchise of Beneco to operate as an electric distribution utility. The franchise was granted on March 20, 1978 and will end on March 20, 2028.
Olowan said the renewal of Beneco’s franchise will “benefit all the constituents of Baguio City as well as those in the Province of Benguet.”
Mentioning the numerous awards it has received, Olowan stressed Beneco’s generation rate for the on-grid cooperatives is affordable and that doing business in Benguet is economically viable in terms of power consumption rates. He attributed this to the electric cooperative’s ‘foresight in acknowledging the dire need to enter into a bilateral power supply contract with an independent power producer in 2003.
“Beneco was one of the first, if not the first electric cooperative, to enter into a bilateral power supply contract with an independent power producer right after the passage of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act in 2001,” the resolution read.
Beneco is a consistent recipient of awards, citations, and recommendations from the National Electrification Administration, Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (Philreca), and other agencies all over the country.
In 2017, Beneco was recognized by NEA for having the lowest rate for on-grid electric cooperatives in the country. Similarly, it received the Ace of Tariff Award bestowed by Philreca for 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021.
Beneco is also included in the list of electric cooperatives in the country with 90 to 100 percent level of energization as shown in NEA’s performance assessment. – Jordan G. Habbiling