Beneco, DPWH need judicial mediation on encroachment woes-A A +A
Friday, August 24, 2012
THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Benguet Electric Cooperative (Beneco) exchanged blows on the relocation of electric poles.
DPWH OIC for Administration lawyer Rex Paderes said the issue now requires a judicial intervention.
DPWH earlier stated the cooperative ‘encroaches in’ the road–right–of–way of government along the Gurel–Bokod–Kabayan Road where it installed different electric poles. The road department now implements road opening in the area.
However, he said DPWH and Beneco are negotiating to find solutions to the problem. “Of course, we are invoking PD 917, which requires us that there should be no road–right–of–way encroachment within these roads. Well, we own the road–right-of–way so the moment we need it, then they have to relocate their poles. Relocation of poles is not part of our program.”
Paderes cited Beneco’s argument on its basis on the utilization of roads, which is stipulated under the Cooperative Development Act. The act allows the utilization of the government–owned roads to Beneco.
“Of course, our argument there is you are allowed to use these roads provided you will not cause obstruction. We acknowledge the importance of electricity in mass development that’s why we allowed them to use these roads provided they will not cause obstruction,” said Paderes.
The electric poles already caused obstruction to the ongoing road opening of the DPWH in the area, which resulted to the request to Beneco to relocate its poles.
Paderes said if the matter will be turned to a personal business, then Beneco should rent the area from DPWH.
Moreover, he revealed Beneco General Manager Gerardo Versoza through Atty. Delmar Cariño recently gave a letter that stated their proposal to solve the conflict.
Paderes said the cooperative proposed for a round table discussion and an immediate search for a representative in Congress who could amend the two conflicting laws.
He added filing a case against the cooperative is an option but they will accept the proposal of Beneco to sit down and discuss the matter.
The DPWH is still waiting for a final date on their round table discussion.
As a recall, during the past weeks, Beneco and DPWH exchanged blows on the relocation of the electric poles, which hinders the ongoing road opening along the Gurel–Bokod–Kabayan road.
Beneco earlier demanded DPWH to pay the expenses of the electric poles before the relocation.
But DPWH denies paying the cost because it earlier stated it is not its responsibility and is not under its program.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 24, 2012.