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TO PIY BTBI

FIVE big energJr sector conpanies have assured the


House of Repr€€ntatives that they would settle Ptl5
Jui]e 2O2-
. She said the offer is "without Fejudice" to the SMC
billion in financial obligations to the govemmenL subsidiary pursuing the case it filed against PSALM,
Earter, Spealer Alan Petercayetano ques[oned the which is pending with Branch 208 of the Mandaluy-
hilure of the House Committee on Enelgy chaired by oflg city regional trial court.
Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco to conduct a SPrc is contesting P23.9 billion in billings made by
hearing on the m;tter intended to collect bi.llions ofp€s6 PSALM,
owed by power firnrs. - Go said theSMC affiliate would ?aycash" as soon
Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defersor, chair- as the govemment accepts its offer.
man of the House Committee on Irublic Accormts, and On top of the SPPC proposal, Defensor said four
Bulacan Rep. Jonathan Sy-Alvarado invited Velasco to other cocrpanieshave committed to setdeorhave setded
ioin the inquiry since his panel has jurisdiction on the i.6 bi[ion owed to PSALM.
matter. He said the four are Miinila Electric Co4pany (Mer-
The newest commitment came from South Premier alco), whichhasanindebtedness of Pl5billion; Northem
PowerCorp. (SPPC), a subsidiaiy of food and beverage Renewables Generation Cory., which has paid P4.6
giant San Miguel Corp. bilJion; FDC (Filinvest Developmenl Corp.) MisanJs
It was given Wednesda)eto the committee on pdblic PowerCorp.,whichoivesP2.6billion;andFDCUt iti€6,
accouits and the committee on good governrnent and Inc., which has a P1.2-billion debt.
public accountability, which ate conducting an inquiry "We cancollect Pl5billion from Meralcobecause the
into more than P95 billion the state-owned Power Sector office of Solici{or Ceneral Jose Ca-tida is wi.lling to
Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corp. has withdraw its motion for int€rvention that has delayed
been collecting from SP PC and other energy producers the implementation of the settlement agreernent'be
and diskibutors. tween Meralco and PSALM," he said.
Cayetano said the House, through its inquiries in aid Def€osor indicated that the House hearings prompt-
of legislation, would raise at least P,l0 billiofl for the ed theel€ctricityprodirc€rs and distributors to paytheir
national beasury to help the govenunent f1]nd its pro- obligations. '
grans, including containing the spread of the coronavi- "Since we started the inquiry, there has been a lot of
rus diserise or COVID-19. mov€m€nl in the energy sector. We have to help the
SPPC general manger Elenita Go told the two com- govef,nm€rtcollect thehuge indebtedness of I'95.4billion
miftees that SPPC is offering to advance P22.6 billion in orthiswouldeverrtuallybeabsotbedby Filipino con-
monthlypaymentsto PSALMbetweenthismohthrip to sumers in taars of higher el€ckicity rates," he said.

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