City losing substantially from non-operation of hydros

After disqualifying the Benguet Electric Cooperative (Beneco) from a bid, the city is losing millions of pesos from the would-be production of its hydroelectric plants which continue to be non-operational.

Engr. Eusebius Halsema, the American mayor who built the city's four mini-hydros that propelled the city's progress during its formative years, must be turning in his grave.

For six years now, the plants have not been producing electricity since the city took over the facilities from the Benguet Electric Cooperative.

Per estimate of those who worked on the plants, the city is losing an average of P2.5 million a month.

That figure was supposed to be restored after the city issued the award for the rehabilitation and operation of the hydros to Kaltimex Energy Philippines on July 17, 2014.

Beneco was disqualified as the bid terms of reference provided that only electric cooperatives registered with the Cooperative Development Authority shall be allowed to bid.

Under rules of the National Electrification Administration, however, electric cooperatives may also opt to register with the NEA, the Beneco tried to argue.

Until today, however, work on the rehabilitation of the plants has yet to begin, prompting the city to consider confiscation of the P150 million bond deposited by Kaltimex.

Figures on collections from the operation of the three plants showed P31,345,631.99 the city collected from January to December, 2011 and P28,112,806.14 from January to October, 2012, when the plants were managed by the electric cooperative.- Ramon Dacawi.

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