February 2, 2023

No need for a separate bill for Beneco members’ share capital

This refers to the Courier’s Week’s Mail titled, “BENECO member-consumers must assert ownership.”
The letter-sender has pointed out that member-consumers should not be indifferent to Benguet Electric Cooperative should the distribution utility collect, in a separate bill, a minimum share capital from every member-consumer.
To my understanding, there is no need to create such since there is already an existing account title in the monthly bill which is captioned “Reinvestment Fund for Sustainable Capex” (RFSC). The monthly charge is P0.2178/kilowatt hour under the line item RFSC.
In fact, the deduction has been going on for a long time now but with the old name “Members Capital Contribution”. This is the reason why we are not only member-consumers but member-consumer-owners.
We have been advocating that Beneco should exert efforts to account for this, as it is mandated under its existing by-laws.
It states under Article 7, Section 2 (b) that “The books and records of the cooperative shall be set up and kept in such a manner that the end of each fiscal year, the amount of capital, if any, so furnished by each patron is clearly reflected and credited in an appropriate record to the capital account of each patron, and the cooperative shall within a reasonable time after the close of the fiscal year notify each patron of the amount of capital so credited to his account.”
This means management should be updating the member’s capital share annually.
It has been reiterated that the Beneco board of directors and management should set a timetable on this as a moving forward since we are now Cooperative Development Authority-registered entity.
Doing this shall allay the fear that Beneco could be easily taken over by oligarchs or corporations. We are hoping that our electric cooperatives would focus on this. — NAME WITHHELD

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