June 23, 2024

Blackened nostrils, no more.

This is how Samuel Dagul of Kapangan, Benguet described the “relief” brought about by the connection of his household to power distribution lines.

The 79-year-old resident of Barangay Sagubo said waking up with blackened nostrils from the soot of a torch or a gas lamp used as a light source is now a thing of the past, at least for the sitios that were recently connected to the distribution lines of the Benguet Electric Cooperative.

Dagul is one of the beneficiaries of Beneco’s Sitio Energization Program (SEP) that has so far provided free electrical connection to 22 households in four sitios of Sagubo.

“Before, whenever we came to the barangay (hall) for transactions, we appeared to be covered in soot; but when we were provided with electricity, we feel that even our complexion became fairer,” he said in the dialect, eliciting chuckle from participants, mostly senior citizens, of the switch on program on July 25.

Sagubo is one of the three barangays of Kapangan that were listed for the SEP implementation this year. Two other barangays – Gaswiling and Toplac – were earlier energized.

Out of the P11 million allotted for the SEP in Kapangan, P3.7M was spent for the energization of five sitios in Sagubo, according to Beneco General Manager Melchor Licoben. The energization of one sitio is ongoing.

In Tublay, Beneco spent P2.7M for the energization of three sitios in Barangay Tuel that benefitted 31 households.

As new members of Beneco, Licoben asked the beneficiaries to fulfill their obligations to the electric cooperative by paying their bills and settle their P500 share capital contribution.

The SEP is a program that seeks to bring electricity to far-flung areas in the bid to bring about economic progress in the countryside.

Through the program, electric cooperatives, such as Beneco, bring poles to the communities and connect the households to the distribution lines for free. This year, 82 sitios in 35 barangays in Benguet have been programmed for energization. – Jane B. Cadalig