Beneco welcomes probe into directors’ fund-A A +A
Sunday, September 1, 2013
THE Benguet Electric Cooperative (Beneco) welcomed the request of the National Association of Electricity Consumers for Reform (Nasecore)-Cordillera chapter to the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to check where the district contingency funds (DCF) of the directors were spent.
General manager Gerardo Verzosa said the coop is open to any investigation or inquiry from the authorized agencies and the consumers, stressing Beneco is transparent.
Beneco policy 2000-01 provides the general guidelines on the usage of the DCF. It states the DCF must be appropriated and disbursed only for the purpose intended for such fund; the utilization and disbursement of the fund shall be limited to programs, projects, or activities that will directly benefit the consumers of the coop; disbursements funded by the DCF must be subject to existing Beneco policies and procedures; the requests for donations and funding must be in written form and properly endorsed by the director concerned and acknowledgement of the recipients must be required; disbursements from the fund must be limited to the DCF budget for the current year; and each Board of Director (BOD) must be limited to one scholar per term of office.
Verzosa said each BOD has a DCF of P500,000 annually per district.
He added that as of August 22, the total disbursement of the DCF for 2013 is P2,913,000.46. In 2012, there was a P2,356,338.17 DCF excess (deficit), while there was a total of P304,587 cash advances of the BODs last year. The total disbursement from 2012 to 2013 is P5,573,925.63. As of August 22, there is P73,925.63 balance.
Nasecore president Bial Palaez earlier said that they were furnished a copy of the status of the DCF for 2013 on February 26. Based on the report, he said "it appears that there are three members of the board with cash advances in excess of their DCF ceiling for 2013, which remained unliquidated."
He added that NEA earlier recommended the DCF must be implemented by the service department of Beneco. However, Palaez said: "This NEA audit recommendation appears to have been disregarded by the Beneco board and instead, the directors themselves implemented the DCF."
The Nasecore group urged the coop's board to implement the NEA recommendation in order to avoid the abusive usage of the DCF. The group also called on Beneco to be transparent to its consumers on the projects being funded by the DCF.
The consumers' group attended the Benguet Provincial Board's meeting last month where the officers presented their accusations against Beneco.
But the Beneco manager iterated they have nothing to hide. Verzosa presented the DCFs of each BOD and the beneficiaries of these funds. (Rubyloida Bitog)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 02, 2013.