June 22, 2024

The interim Board of Directors (BOD) of the Benguet Electric Cooperative has set the election of new members of the BOD on April 20 and Sept. 21.

Beneco General Manager Melchor Licoben said the interim BOD has adopted the suggestion of management to conduct the elections in two batches for them to effectively manage the election which consists of a large number of member-consumers from 11 districts.

He said as in the past, election of the Beneco BOD for the 11 districts is conducted separately since it is difficult to manage a one-time election for a wide service area.

The election on April 20 is for districts 2, 5, and 6 for Baguio City and districts 7, 8, and 10 for Benguet.

For Sept. 21, elections will be for districts 1, 3, and 4 for Baguio and districts 9 and 11 for Benguet.

Once the first batch is elected, Licoben said the five-man interim BOD task force will join the six directors that will be elected in April to comprise the 11 members of the board.

Once the remaining five new directors are elected in September, the interim BOD will exit and the board will be composed already of 11 newly elected members.

“The interim board will continue to be the board until a newly elected BOD comes in. Even though there will already be a quorum once six directors are elected in April, the interim board will still sit, as part of the transition,” Licoben said.

He assured Beneco member-consumers the process is being done to ensure the sustainability of the cooperative.

The National Electrification Administration in January 2023 issued a resolution ordering the removal of Beneco’s BOD due to long-standing management irregularities and also revoked its appointment of Atty. Ana Marie Paz Rafael after a management struggle. 

It also approved the creation of Task Force Beneco to act as interim BOD composed of representatives from the business, academe, consumer, agricultural, and religious sectors, and shall serve until a new BOD is elected.

Licoben was appointed by the five-man interim BOD as new general manager in November 2023 through Board Resolution 2023-245 and which was confirmed by NEA. – Hanna C. Lacsamana