YEARS of darkness have ended for sitios in Atok, Benguet.
The Benguet Electric Cooperative (Beneco), with the municipality of Atok and community stakeholders, celebrated the electrification of Sitios Poshongan and Telmod in Baranagy Topdac.
The project, costing P1.9 million, was enough to electrify the two sitios and pave the way to spur economic development in the area.
Engineer Melchor Licoben, officer-in-charge general manager of Beneco, said both sitios will now be able to enjoy the benefits of electrification.
Atok Mayor Raymundo Sarac said the electrification program is a partnership with communities, the municipality and the electric cooperative.
Sarac said electricity in the two sitios will mean progress and a lowering of crime.
So far, Beneco has identified 642 sitios in the Province of Benguet for energization through the National Electrification Administration (NEA).
The government has spent around P233 million in the implementation of the sitio energization program (SEP) in Baguio and Benguet, while 310 sitios are due for funding under the SEP with an estimated cost of P168.6 million.
Beneco aims to bring electricity to the most depressed and far-flung areas.
The towns of Atok, Bakun, Bokod, Buguias, Itogon, Kabayan, Kapangan, Kibungan, Mankayan, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay are the areas with remaining sitios scheduled for energization, while 744 sitios in Baguio City and 124 sitios in Benguet's capital town of La Trinidad have been provided with electricity.
Licoben said P200 million is needed for the province to be fully energized, and this has gotten the backing of Benguet caretaker Eric Go Yap, who heads the committee on appropriations at the House of Representatives.
Since the electric cooperative started the electrification in 2011, there has been P32 million downloaded for the municipality of Atok.
It was in 1973 when Beneco was founded and aims to electrify the entire province.
Community elder said residents will now be able to maneuver in full light and not grope in the dark.
Present during the ceremony were Anthony Kwan, Yap and Board Member Nardo Cayat, representing Governor Melchor Diclas.