'Power' block throws in support to Beneco OIC

FOUR partylist groups in the House of Representatives are urging the National Electrification Administration (NEA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) to appoint Engineer Melchor Licoben as full-time general manager of Benguet Electric Cooperative (Beneco).

In a letter to NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong, representatives Presley De Jesus of Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (Philreca), Sergio Dagooc of Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (Apec), Adriano Ebcas of Ako Padayon Pilipino and Godofredo Guya of Rural Electronic Consumers and Beneficiaries of Development and Advancement Inc. (Recoboda) were in unison for the appointment of Licoben as full-time general manager of Beneco.

"The general manager's task requires understanding not just of the energy sector, not just the socio political war games that sometimes happen unfortunately brought about by interest and privileges of the few, and definitely, not just managing a non-profit, service oriented organization like electric cooperatives," the letter states.

"The general manager should know how its member-consumer-owners think, because they are a crucial ingredient -- in fact, the reason for their existence -- of the electric cooperatives," the letter adds.

The endorsement added the success of electric cooperatives is hugely dependent on how the general manager responds to policy-making decision of the board of directors, and implement the over-all directions provided by NEA, the Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE, and other relevant regulatory bodies of the government.

"We are positive that with Engr. Licoben's leadership skills and exemplary experience, Beneco will be in good hands, without any doubts, we believe that Engr. Licoben is the right man to be Beneco's next general manager," added the endorsement letter.

Licoben was earlier appointed as officer-in-charge of the power coop following the retirement of former GM Gerardo Versoza on April 30.

Earlier, Benguet caretaker Eric Go Yap also rallied behind Licoben's appointment.

Yap said Licoben can further advance the aggressive implementation of the government's rural electrification program in still unenergized sitios in the different parts of the province.

Chair of the powerful House Committee on Appropriations, Yap, added: "We are one with the unified action of our leaders in bestowing their unconditional support to the new leadership of one of the top performing rural electric cooperatives in the country."

The lawmaker said he is aware of the exemplary accomplishments of the previous Beneco leadership nurtured through three decades of passionate and dedicated service by being one of the few Class AAA electric cooperatives in the country.


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