Beneco wants gov’t subsidy for repair of facilities damaged by ‘Florita’
MANILA, Philippines — The Benguet Electric Cooperative (Beneco) has pleaded for assistance from the government as it faces difficulty amid frozen bank accounts and heavy damage to its facilities brought about by Severe Tropical Storm Florita (international name: Ma-on).
Beneco said in a statement Thursday that it asked the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to help them repair their typhoon-hit infrastructures as damage reached P2, 097,696.76.
It noted that Beneco is “still reeling from frozen bank accounts,” making it “unable to pay its power suppliers in millions of unpaid arrearages.”
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According to Beneco General Manager Melchor S. Licoben, they wrote NEA Deputy Administrator for Technical Services Ernesto O. Silvano, Jr. last September 5 appealing that they “favorably consider providing financial support or subsidy to defray the cost” of repairs to Beneco’s impaired distribution system and facilities. Also attached in Beneco’s letter to NEA was its “Final Damage Reports,” Licoben said.
He also said that Beneco sought the assistance of DOE Secretary Raphael Lotilla’s office, forwarding the same documents for the energy chief’s appropriate action.
Beneco said storm Florita’s damage to its poles and power lines incurred the biggest cost at P1,606,055.81. He added that two transformers and 29 units of protection fuses likewise got busted during the severe weather event, costing P459, 720.95 and P31,920.00, respectively.
The electricity cooperative noted that when Florita hit Northern Luzon on August 22, it started to receive reports of damage to Beneco’s facilities in Baguio, La Trinidad and Tuba. — Alyssa Joy Quevedo, trainee
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