Benguet Electric Cooperative’s (BENECO) Sitio Electrification Program (SEP) brought lights to 31 households in Sitio Kaliwag, Gaswiling, Kapangan.
Dubbed as warriors of light, BENECO and its army of engineers and linemen worked hand in hand with contractors to finish the project. The project started on May 5 and was completed on June 16, 2022.
Welcoming the delegates during the switch-on and energization ceremony on Tuesday, July 5, was Kapangan Mayor Manny Fermin. In his welcome remarks, he acknowledges the BENECO delegates headed by General Manager Melchor Licoben and BOD Chairman Esteban Somngi.
Fermin said since he was a Councilor, he and his fellow councilors had been drafting resolutions requesting for electricity to un-energized sitios. Slowly the sitios are being energized and this is the second switch-on ceremony in Kapangan this year. First was sitio Tuplac in Barangay Pudong on February 18.
“We came here to give our thanks as well as our salute to BENECO for giving programs to far-flung areas in Benguet,” Fermin said.
The event was also attended by the Board of Directors of BENECO, Vice Governor Ericson Felipe, and barangay officials of Gaswiling headed by Punong Barangay Ulyses Bugtong.
According to BENECO General Manager Melchor Licoben, the fund for the SEP in the sitio was P2,703,333.00. However, no fees were collected from the energized households. “This is part of the government’s funding to bring electricity to all sitios in the country,” said Licoben.
Kapitan Bugtong thanked BENECO “for the project that is a big help for the resident of sitio Kaliwaga.”
Meanwhile, another switch-on ceremony was done in Sitio Bes-ig, Barangay Camp One in Tuba last Thursday. The Sitio Electrification Program conducted by BENECO started in 2019 but halted at the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tuba is the biggest beneficiary of the SEP with a budget of almost P22 million. Eleven Sitios benefitted from this with three still ongoing targeted to be done by the end of the year. There were 120 initial beneficiaries with about 370 poles put up and 375 kilometers of lines.
Apart from the beneficiaries, among those in attendance were BENECO employees headed by GM Mel Licoben, EC-MCO United officers, Barangay officials of Twin peaks, Camp 1, and Ansagan; Dir. Peter Busaing, Dir. Mike Wayway Maspil, Dir. Robert Valentin, Tuba Councilor Rebecca Apil, Tuba Vice Mayor Maria Carrantes, and Tuba Mayor Clarita Sal-ongan.
Both Vice Mayor Maria Carrantes and Mayor Clarita Sal-ongan in their own words emphasized that “we have to support our GM Engr. Melchor Licoben tapno agtultuloy ti napintas nga serbisyo ti Beneco. We MCOS have been affected by the current problem of Beneco but we chose Engr. Mel Licoben as we also manifested in our resolution.”
Licoben said that “other isolated areas in Benguet are now simultaneously being energized.” – CT