Benguet coop confiscates tampered meters in Buguias
by SC Aro
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet (21 September) -- The Benguet Electric Cooperative confiscated 130 pilfered meters mostly in Bangao, Buguias reportedly tampered by a group of unscrupulous individuals collecting fees to reduce monthly power bills.
BENECO Northern Sub-Office Manager Engr. Garet Gregory Waytan said inspection of meters was conducted last June 2007 following the reduction of power consumption by 50 percent among consumers in some parts of Buguias.
The syndicate collects fees ranging from a low of P100.00 to a high of P1,000.00 depending upon the consumer's capacity to pay according to Waytan.
BENECO confiscated the tampered meters and issued penalties to the consumers with a minimum of P2,500.00. They will also be charged of meter cost amounting to P1,250.00, reconnection fee of P50.00, and retroactive billing based on the monthly average power consumption.
BENECO has not filed yet a case against these unscrupulous individuals as they have not been tracked and that their exact identities are still unknown.
BENECO issued warning to consumers not to fall prey to such scheme as it would affect other consumers in the payment of systems loss.
Moreover, in compliance with National Electrification Administration regulatory power directive with the advent of the EPIRA Law, BENECO will be organizing a Multi-Sectoral Electrification Advisory Council (MSEAC), according to BENECO Corporate Services Manager Brenda Carling.
As stated in the guidelines, existing Member-Consumer Electrification Committees (MCECs) or District Electrification Committees (DECs) shall be converted into MSEAC upon effectivity of the guidelines whose membership shall be confirmed in writing by the sector they represent within a given period of 15 days.
MSEAC shall serve as information channels in the dissemination of electric cooperative programs and policies.
It also serves as effective catalysts in harnessing member-consumer efforts in support of activities in improving electric cooperative operations.
MSEAC Chairman or his/her representative shall be allowed to attend Board meetings as an observer or to discuss relevant issues and concerns affecting the district or municipality to ensure transparency and responsiveness of electric cooperative policies, decisions and generate immediate feedbacks.
MSEAC representatives shall compose sectors such as agro-fishery, barangay council, business, civic, education, local government, media, religious, youth, and women. (PIA-Benguet) [top]