May 22, 2024

I am writing to express my concern as a reaction to the takeover by Benguet Electric Cooperative on the development of mini-hydro project at Man-asok, Buguias, Benguet which was published in the Nov. 3, 2019 issue of the Baguio Midland Courier.
Based on the report, the take-over was due to the failure of the contractor, Phesco, to follow the set dates of construction. This resulted in a delay in the implementation of the program of work.
The rescission of the contract led the contractor to go to the Construction Industry Arbitration Commission for resolution of the case. Phesco won the complaint it filed and Beneco is to pay P58,083,512.64 with six percent annual interest until fully paid.
As a consumer, this is disturbing because the payment of fine will most likely be shouldered by member-consumers.
This will be an additional burden to consumers. Hopefully, the administrative case filed by Phesco before the National Electrification Administration would result to a decision favoring consumers wherein the penalty will be charged to Beneco officers who decided on unilaterally rescinding the contract.
The delay will also result in penalties on the payment of Beneco’s amortization. As gleaned from the arbitration proceedings, it appeared that it was Beneco’s shortcoming. We hope the take-over will result to a smooth and timely completion for the project.
Again, who shall pay the fine? — TRANQUILINO B. BANIWAS, Baguio City