Power coop defends execs’ car plan

>> Sunday, April 27, 2008

By Dexter A See

BAGUIO CITY – The management of the Benguet Electric Coop. here said the controversial multi-million-peso car plan for its executives and employees will save the public utility agency at least P9 million, contrary to claims by critics.

Gerardo P. Verzosa, Beneco general manager, said acquisition of new vehicles for its executives and deserving employees under the widely publicized car plan is much cheaper than purchasing new ones solely at the company’s expense.

Under a feasibility study conducted by the firm for several years now, the car plan, which will benefit 34 officers and employees, would enable the utility to reduce the cost of acquiring new vehicles and would also reduce maintenance, depreciation and operating costs because the executive or employee will have his counterpart for such expenses for the vehicle.

For example, he said, the purchase of seven new vehicles at the cooperative’s expense would cost P24.9 million, which is P9 million more than the P15.9-million Beneco exposure under the car plan.

Verzosa said no cash will be released by the cooperative because the acquisition of the new cars will be done on credit.

Beneco will shoulder 70 percent, while the beneficiary executive or employee will shoulder 30 percent of the maintenance and fuel cost for the vehicle.

Verzosa said the same car plan is being implemented by various government and private entities such as the National Transmission Corp. the National Power Corp., the Manila Electric Co.,, the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative.

Because there is no cash out on the part of the cooperative, the manager said vital programs and projects, especially rural electrification of non-viable areas in Benguet, will not be compromised.

He denied insinuation of some sectors that the amount for the car plan will be sourced from the P100-million loan it had acquired from the National Electrification Administration for rural electrification, saying the allegation is baseless and unfounded.

He said the cooperative will not use the fund for purposes other than energization of the 134 sitios of Benguet.

Verzosa said the utility’s credit facilities are the ones providing for the financing of the vehicles with the support of the beneficiaries.

Beneco directors are not included in the controversial car plan because they do not perform the same duties and responsibilities of an executive or an employee who reports to the office daily and acts on vital concerns even in far-flung areas of Benguet.


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