Progressive solons join call for probe of BENECO GM dispute
A partylist joined other stakeholders that are calling for a probe on the appointment of general manager of the Benguet Electric Cooperative.
In House Resolution 2457, Bayan Muna Reps. Carlos Isagani Zarate, Ferdinand Gaite, and Eufemia Cullamat directed the House of Representatives Committees on Energy and Cooperatives Development to conduct a joint inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the alleged takeover of Beneco through the appointment by the National Electrification Administration-Board of Administrators of a former Palace executive as general manager, saying the circumstances surrounding the appointment are anomalous.
The representatives took exception to NEA-BOA’s appointment of former Presidential Communications and Operations Office Asec. Ana Marie Rafael to Beneco’s top post, saying the same is “anomalous” as the electric cooperative’s board of directors (BOD) has the authority to appoint a general manager.
They added the Beneco BOD was deprived of its right to choose general manager when NEA-BOA chose to endorse only and eventually appoint Rafael last year.
The Beneco BOD has stood pat on its appointment of Engr. Melchor Licoben as general manager, an action taken as early as 2020.
As an entity registered with the Cooperative Development Authority, the solons said Beneco should be free from government action that infringes upon the autonomy or organizational integrity of cooperatives.
Beneco registered with the CDA in November 2020 and is in the process of conversion.
Bayan Muna is among the stakeholders that called for an inquiry on the controversy besetting the appointment of Beneco general manager.
The NEA-BOA’s appointment of Rafael has caused a stir among the employees and member-consumers and division among members of the electric cooperative’s policy-making body.
Rafael continues to hold office, raising the validity of her appointment by the NEA-BOA while Licoben also continues to dispose of his duties and responsibilities as BOD-appointed general manager. – Press release