December 7, 2022

The Benguet Electric Cooperative and La Trinidad local government signed on April 29 a memorandum of agreement for the maintenance of streetlights in the capital town.

In the MOA, Beneco will oversee the administration and maintenance of the unmetered streetlight systems in public spaces and barangays, including repair, replacement, and maintenance services.

The parties also agreed that with the signing of the MOA, the civil case on breach of contract earlier filed by the municipality against the electric cooperative will be withdrawn.

La Trinidad has agreed to pay Beneco with the equivalent of 12 burning hours of electric consumption of the unmetered streetlights based on high-pressure sodium (HPS) wattage.

“The computation of burning hours and the number of unmetered streetlights to be billed will be based on the actual result of the inventory to be conducted between the parties or the last data of the electric cooperative until such time that the inventory has been completed,” the MOA stated.

La Trinidad will form an inspection committee that will coordinate with Beneco for the inventory of streetlights to be repaired, replaced, or for the installation of new unmetered streetlights.

The committee will include punong barangays where the streetlights needing maintenance are. The barangay chiefs shall report any busted or faulty unmetered streetlights or fixtures to Beneco. 

The local government will also identify the public places to be illuminated based on the inventory while all areas with existing metered streetlights and park lights are excluded.

Beneco, meanwhile, has the option to replace the streetlight fixtures with LED bulbs provided that the power firm will initiate a new agreement with the municipality.

The contract is effective for four years.

Beneco will also submit a monthly report to the LGU at its request. As for legal actions arising from the MOA, both parties agreed that it shall only be litigated in courts having jurisdiction in La Trinidad. 

Signatories of the MOA were Mayor Romeo Salda and Vice Mayor Roderick Awingan for the local government and Beneco General Manager Melchor Licoben and Board President Esteban Somngi. – Ofelia C. Empian