Councilors defer decision over street lighting-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
THE City Council of Baguio again deferred action on the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the Light Emitting Diode (LED) street lighting project of the city despite calls from Mayor Mauricio Domogan for its immediate approval.
Several councilors objected to some provisions of the TOR.
They said that the 12-year Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) scheme for a service provider to replace 8,200 streetlights into energy saving LED are not beneficial for the city.
Councilor Peter Fianza expressed his reservations to approve the terms. He said the P40 million that will be allocated annually by the city for the service provider is already a manifestation that it is not another “at no expense to the city project.”
He also questioned assistant city accountant Almaye Addawe, chair of the technical committee formed by the mayor, on how they will yearly allocate budget for the electric lighting and consumption of the city.
Addawe clarified, that what they claim as “at no expense to the city,” means that there will be no capital outlay for the installation of light fixtures and replacement of the bulbs in the next 12 years.
He added based on the Procurement Law, the budget for LED street lighting should be based on the procurement plan of the city. He also insisted no such plan was made by the city.
However, Addawe claimed they will not use the Procurement Law as basis in offering streetlights to the service provider and instead use the BOT Law which Fianza again questioned that the contract that will be entered with the LED service provider does not fall within the requirements of the BOT law.
“I think we should also look into the maintenance requirement of LED lights as compared to incandescent or compact fluorescent lights that the moment it pops out we have to immediately replace it. But in LED we have to consider its lumens or its brightness and that is not what was projected by the technical committee,” he said.
The councilor also claimed that the City Government is speculating on the savings that will be incurred from maintenance and electric consumption and that LED lights will be cheaper in the future.
Councilor Philian Weygan-Allan also asked the technical committee to include in the TOR that the service provider should include they are providing the lighting fixtures through a deed of donation so that there would be no question on the legality of the ownership of the LED lighting.
Councilor Perlita Chan Rondez, meanwhile, suggested that a comprehensive feasibility study should be done prior to the signing of a contract with the LED service provider.
She said the comprehensive feasibility study would involve a detailed total project cost, number of bulbs to be replaced by LED, list of local LED manufacturers, the current prevailing prices of LED bulbs and actual consumption of the city compared to actual savings.
“The savings that will be incurred should not be a guess work as it involves millions of pesos and a feasibility study would lay down sources of capital outlay not only through a BOT scheme but also through loans, etc.,” she said.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 17, 2012.