February 9, 2023

Groups advancing the interest of electricity consumers at the Lower House have endorsed to the National Electrification Administration the appointment of Benguet Electric Cooperative’s officer-in-charge as a full-fledged general manager.
Party-list Reps. Presley de Jesus of Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association; Sergio Dagooc of Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives; Adriano Ebcas of Ako Padayon Pilipino; and Godofredo Guya of Rural Electronic Consumers and Beneficiaries of Development and Advancement, Inc. have supported the call for the appointment of Engr. Melchor Licoben as Beneco GM in full capacity.
“An engineer who rose from the ranks, has occupied significant and core functions in the cooperative, and as one of the members who spearheaded Beneco’s transformation from an underperforming electric cooperative to a topnotch utility in the country, Licoben can continue and hopefully exceed the exceptional accomplishments of Beneco though decades of unparalleled and dedicated performance and service to its member-consumer-owners,” the representatives stated in their July 24 letter to NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong.
The party-lists’ endorsement complemented the resolutions passed by various local government units, supporting Licoben’s appointment as a full-fledged Beneco GM. Licoben was appointed OIC GM upon the retirement of Gerardo Verzosa in April.
The representatives said they are convinced that with Licoben’s leadership skills and exemplary experience, Beneco will be in good hands. They added the success of the government’s rural electrification relies on a GM that understands the energy sector.
“The success of total electrification, while an overall effort of how the government prioritizes the electrification program and the contribution of the board of directors, management team, and staff of electric cooperatives, is hugely dependent on how the general manager responds to policymaking decisions of the BOD and implement directions provided by the NEA, the Energy Regulatory Commission, the Department of Energy, and other regulatory bodies of government,” the endorsement letter stated.
It added, “The general manager should know how its member-consumer-owners think, because they are a crucial ingredient – in fact, the reason for their existence – of the electric cooperatives.”
The Beneco Supervisors’ Association and Employees Union also passed a manifesto anew, expressing their support to Licoben as the electric cooperative’s general manager.
“We are perturbed with reports that the office of the general manager is being eyed by interest groups sans the process of filling up the position through NEA’s policies and memoranda. We cannot think of other person to be the general manager of Beneco, but one who is with Beneco,” the manifesto stated.
“Needless to say, the power industry, the rural electrification program, and managing an electric cooperative demand a unique and rigorous understanding that can only be appreciated through time. For this reason, we bank on the expertise, skill, and experience of Engr. Licoben to continue the mission-vision and directions of Beneco.”
Earlier, the employees asked NEA, in a resolution, to confirm Licoben’s appointment as a full-time GM of Beneco. – Jane B. Cadalig