PPP committee told to fast track bidding of LED conversion

BAGUIO CITY November 22 – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan ordered the city's public-private partnership (PPP) committee to fast track the conduct of the required processes for the conversion of the street lighting fixtures from the traditional bulbs to the state-of-the-art Light Emitting Diode (LED) as part of the local government's energy conservation program.

The local chief executive admitted that in fairness with the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) which had been managing the maintenance of the city's over 8,000 streetlights for over five years now, the rural electric cooperative was able to do its part on ensuring the operation of the streetlights even if the same was a losing venture, thus, the city must also do its part by working out the required processes for the realization of the conversion of streetlights to LED through the so-called public-private partnership.

"The local government must show to BENECO its sincerity to comply with its obligation under our previous agreement that is why the PPP committee must also do its part in facilitating the conduct of public bidding for our shift to LED to realize our energy conservation program. We have to show BENECO that the city is doing its part on the matter so that we will be in good faith in fulfilling our obligation under the agreement," Domogan stressed.

Earlier, BENECO officials insinuated the need to turn over the management of the city's streetlights to the local government because of the enormous losses incurred by the rural electric cooperative in managing the maintenance and operation of the city's streetlights for nearly six years now.

However, barangay officials and members of the Multi-Sectoral Electrification Advisory Committee (MSEAC) from the 6 districts of BENECO appealed to the management not to take drastic steps in turning over the maintenance of the streetlights to the local government because it will be the thousands of residents who will suffer the consequences of poorly maintained streetlights that could also result to the derailment of the successful peace and order campaign of law enforcers.

Under the agreement signed between BE|NECO and local government officials, BENECO will maintain the city's streetlights until such time that the local government will be able to convert its street lighting system to LED pursuant to approved terms and conditions enshrined in Resolution No. 446, series of 2011.

The MSEAC federation of Baguio City passed a resolution urging the local government to fastrack the conduct of public bidding for the planned shift of the city's street lighting system to LED to ensure the installation of energy-efficient bulbs along major roads and the city's 128 barangays to help in intensifying the aggressive peace and order campaign of law enforcers, city and barangay officials.

Of the over 11,000 streetlights that BENECO is currently maintaining in its franchise area, over 8,000 streetlights are found in Baguio city while the rest of the streetlights are equitably distributed in Benguet.

BNECO officials assured MSEAC members from Baguio city that it will attempt to reach out to the local government on the latest development of its planned shift to LED before studying whatever available options that could be taken to compel the city to comply with its obligation under the agreement. By Dexter A. See

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