HOUSE Bill 6145, filed by Baguio Representative Mark Go, which seeks to grant a legislative franchise to Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) has made its way through the chambers of Congress and is now awaiting approval from the Legislative Franchises Committee chaired by Representative Gus Tambunting of Parañaque.
BENECO’s current 50 year franchise to operate as a distribution utility, which was granted in March of 1978, is set to expire in 2028.
In advance of the expiration of the franchise, Go has filed and sponsored HB 6145, an “Act Granting a Legislative Franchise to Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) to Construct, Install, Establish, Operate and Maintain a Generation and Distribution System for the Conveyance of Electric Power to the End Users in All the Municipalities of the Province of Benguet and Baguio City,” alongside the Department of Energy, National Electrification Commission (NEA), Rep. Presley De Jesus of PHILRECA Partylist, and Rep. Sergio Dagooc of APEC Partylist.
“Granting a legislative franchise to BENECO will ensure the continuous supply and delivery of affordable, efficient, and safe electric power to the people of Baguio City and Benguet Province,” Go said.
BENECO, as of 2021, was serving nearly 220,000 accounts in Baguio and Benguet, Its performance assessments have consistently shown an above 90 percent energization level, and to date is also among the lowest power rates across various electric cooperatives in the country.
BENECO cites its bilateral power supply contract with independent power producer TeaM Energy as one of the main factors in its low power rates.
In order to approve the legislative franchise of BENECO, the NEA must confirm its performance before the Legislative Franchises Committee of Congress.