Baguio City, Philippines – The General Manager of Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO), Melchor S. Licoben, through Advisory-2021-65, confirmed and clarified the reasons for the suspension of electric bill payment collection for some universal and commercial, and rural and cooperative banks.
In an advisory posted on December 27 through the official Facebook page of BENECO, Licoben explained that the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and Philippine National Bank (PNB) made a change in the electric cooperative’s signatory, therefore closing BENECO’s account.
Earlier, Licoben issued Advisory 60 dated December 21, 2021, stating that the officials, employees and members-consumer-owners (MCOs) never approved or authorized the withdrawal of P58 million from their account with LBP along Marcos Highway, Baguio City.
The General Manager affirmed that they were not informed or advised of the withdrawal.
Licoben said the ‘fund is a subsidy intended for the energization of remote areas under the national government’s Sitio Energization Program (SEP). Also, we are in possession of the passbook bearing the said deposit and yet the amount was released.’
The electric cooperative said they are preparing appropriate charges to be filed against those who caused unauthorized withdrawal.
BENECO payment from other banks also suspended
Apart from the LBP and PNB, electric bill payments through the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) were likewise suspended as the bank does not recognize GM Licoben and Board Chairperson Esteban Somngi as the signatories.
Meanwhile, Rang-ay Bank along with Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and Metrobank opted to freeze BENECO’s account.
The Summit Bank, on the other hand, filed a Declaratory Relief before the court.
Consumers to Request Refund
BENECO personnel encouraged consumers who processed their electric bill payment through the said banks ‘to request for a refund from the banks and provide our office with your proof of payment for our reference.’
“Although the payments made will reflect as arrearages, we will not implement any disconnection nor impose any surcharges,” added the advisory.
Official Collection Centers of BENECO
Consumers are advised to make their payments through the official collection centers located at South Drive; Maharlika Livelihood Complex, Maharlika; Bonuan Condominium, Salud Mitra; Km. 4, Balili, La Trinidad; Bekes, Buyacaoan, Buguias; and other authorized collecting agents.
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