Issue of August 11, 2019
     
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LT allots funds for repair & upkeep of busted streetlights
by Ofelia C. Empian

Following Benguet Electric Cooperative’s decision to turn over streetlights maintenance to the various local government units in Benguet, the municipality of La Trinidad has allotted funds for its own upkeep.

Mayor Romeo Salda said the LGU is in the process of conducting inventory of the busted streetlights in all of their 16 barangays.

Salda said they have allotted P2 million from its supplemental budget for the purchase of LED lights and training of maintenance personnel.

“We will repair the streetlights one at a time so we have asked the punong barangays to submit its inventory of busted lights,” Salda said.

He has also instructed the engineering office to go around the town to repair what it could handle, as he admitted the municipality is not yet ready to handle the repair and maintenance of streetlights.

Earlier, Beneco directed its crew to stop the maintenance and repair of all streetlights in the 13 towns of Benguet and Baguio City.

Beneco’s decision came after finding out that the maintenance and repair of the streetlights in Baguio and Benguet incurs too much cost on its end. Also, attending to these maintenance takes too much time of the Beneco’s crew instead of performing other urgent tasks.

Beneco Assistant General Manager Melchor Licoben, in a letter to Salda on May 20, reiterated the options available for the LGUs to take with the turnover of responsibilities.

First is that Beneco could bill the municipality with 10 burning hours for the electric consumption of the streetlights equivalent to 20 percent discount, but La Trinidad will handle its maintenance.

Another option is that Beneco would bill the municipality for 12 burning hours and will handle the task of streetlights maintenance but the costs of labor and materials will be paid by the LGU.

These options also apply to the other towns of the province.

Salda said they will meet with Beneco to discuss the repair and maintenance of the streetlights and in crafting a memorandum of agreement to seal their partnership.


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