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DoE tells Beneco: Prioritize public service

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Photo credit: Beneco website

The Department of Energy (DoE) on Wednesday called on employees of the Benguet Electric Cooperative Inc. (Beneco) opposing the appointment of its new general manager (GM) should not compromise their service to the people.

“Beneco has to operate normally, and we have to ensure that there will be no disruption — we don’t like abuses from either side,” Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said in a television interview.
“We have to respect the law, and I would like to ask those people who oppose the new GM to report to work, do their jobs to serve the people,” he added.

Cusi pointed out the alleged abuses committed by Ana Maria Paz Rafael still need to be verified.

“I want to be clear that it is best to let her assume the work to find out what the problems are and how we can better the service on the people. An audit was already conducted, and we don’t want to stir this issue into something bigger,” he said.

The National Electrification Administration appointed Rafael, a former official of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, as the new Beneco GM on 29 July.

The appointment was finalized after several months of being subjected to the rigorous selection process and scrutiny of the academic requirement and experience of the GM.

In a recent press statement, the power utility serving Benguet province said Rafael’s appointment is “clear and regular.”

Beneco said should the board continue to convene and question her appointment, their action is already beyond their authority and is, therefore, ultra-vires or “beyond one’s power.”

Rafael, for her part, said services to members, consumers, owners, and stakeholders should not be jeopardized because of this last-second ditch to her appointment.

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