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  • By : Delmar O. CariƱo
  • Aug 03, 2020

BENECO linemen urged to be agile, alert all the time

When the consumer switches on the light, the light must be on.

This is what BENECO's 91 linemen are supposed to hurdle in their daily shifts as frontliners since today's consumers have become demanding, said Melchor Licoben, OIC general manager, during the celebration of the Linemen Appreciation Day at the Gen. Pedro Dumol Hall on Aug. 3, Monday.

Licoben said the challenge for the linemen has already shifted over the years from energizing sitios and remote places to ensuring that electricity is always available when needed.

"As line workers, you must adopt to the changing times," he said.

Jason Wayet, BENECO's Health and Safety Officer, said the task, however, must take into consideration safety, both in terms of the lines and personal well-being.

Wayet said all materials that the linemen install in the electric distribution system must comply with safety standards in order to keep all systems going. In the meantime, he said that the every lineman must also wear the required protective gears to avoid getting electrocuted or getting harmed.

Wayet's talk on safety was beamed via teleconferencing on Monday and viewed by all the country's 121 electric cooperatives which hooked on to the appreciation day program hosted by the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Assn. (PHILRECA).

Wayet gave his talk as the president of the Phil. Electric Cooperatives' Association of Safety and Environment Officers (PECASEO).

From the skull guard to the boots, the linemen must know what these protective gears are, he said, adding that safety should never be compromised.

BENECO has pioneered an in house linemen training program that provided the opportunity for all interested line workers in the region.

The training started in 2005, Wayet said. As of date, BENECO has trained more than 600 linemen in 21 batches. A lot of them are now regular employees of the electric cooperative while the rest have been recruited as project employees who handled BENECO's sitio energization program.

Today, the trainees have also found employment in the roster of BENECO's accredited jobbers or outsourced maintenance providers.

The Linemen Appreciation Day on Monday is the first to be held for all the country's electric cooperatives, lawyer Janeene Depay-Colingan, PHILRECA general manager and executive director, said.

Speaking in Filipino, Colingan said the linemen are the most crucial workers in the power industry since they risk their limbs in seeing to it that electricity is always available.

"Kami ay lugod na nagpapasalamat sa inyo dahil kayo ang nagtataguyod sa mga adhikain ng mga electric cooperatives" ("We express our deepest gratitude to you since you are the ones who pushes forward the objectives of the electric cooperatives"), she said.