DESPITE lacking funds, the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) has reported providing energy and connecting 59 remote villages in Benguet to the power grid.
According to BENECO General Manager Melchor Licoben, 59 sitios have been provided power to date, but six more sitios are currently undergoing the electrification process, two sitios have had electric poles delivered and ready for setup, and another five sitios are ready to be energized but have not started the process yet.
The highest number of electrified sitios is in the municipality of Tuba with 11 sitios; Kapangan with eight; Atok, Kabayan and Tublay with seven each; five each in Bokod, Kibungan and Sablan; two in Mankayan; and one in both Bakun and Buguias.
The ongoing electrification projects are split amongst sitios in Bakun, Kibungan and Tuba, with eight, six and one electrification projects ongoing respectively.
Earlier, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) provided BENECO some P80 million worth of funds for the sitio electrification project.
However, due to the ongoing conflict with the camp of lawyer Ana Maria Paz Rafael which saw certain banks, including the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), changing signatories for BENECO accounts, some P58.6 million of the P80 million funding has been lost or become inaccessible to BENECO’s management.