By Myrna M. Velasco
Total liabilities of state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) dropped to P436.3 billion as of end-March or P12.9 billion lower than P449.2 billion in the previous quarter largely due to gains from a stronger peso versus foreign currencies.
PSALM data showed that P258.9 billion are debts and P177.4 billion are lease obligations with the independent power producers (IPPs) or the power generators that sealed power supply deals with then single-buyer National Power Corporation (NPC).
About 72.2-percent of PSALM’s financial obligations are in US dollars amounting to P314.98 billion, the company said, using P52.7820 as exchange rate.
Additionally, the state-run firm’s peso-denominated loans totaled P91.88 billion or about 21 percent of total liabilities. The balance of 6.7 percent or P29.44 billion is denominated in Japanese yen. The conversion rate for Japanese yen-denominated loans is P0.4771.
Based on PSALM’s data, the company’s remaining collection from proceeds of privatized power assets now just hover at P338.73 billion – which essentially will not be enough to wipe out its remaining liabilities throughout its corporate life concluding in 2026. It would need to step up on the divestment of remaining assets to meet the 2026 end-date.
The only other expected succor to its cash hoard will be collections of universal charges (UCs) from the Filipino ratepayers – primarily for the components of stranded debts and stranded contract costs. Both UCs are reflected as separate items in the electric bills.
The government-owned power firm indicated that it already completed collection of the P162.23 billion worth of proceeds from the privatization of the NPC power plants.
For the privatized supply contracts of the IPPs, the remaining balance up for collection had been placed at P256.25 billion; while for the 25-year concession deal for the transmission assets, the remaining privatization proceeds yet to be fetched will be P84.48 billion.
“PSALM’s privatization efforts generated a total of P910.16 billion as of end-March 2019. Of this amount, actual collection amounted to P571.43 billion as of this period,” the power firm stressed.
In the same review period culminating in March this year, PSALM emphasized that it already repaid P629.92 billion of financial obligations that had been transferred to it following the restructuring of the entire power industry.
Of the total amount, it said that P68.49 billion had been earmarked for prepayment of debts; P383.58 billion had been channeled to regular debt servicing; and P172.73 billion for build-operate-transfer (BOT) lease obligations.
The company’s other expenses amounting to P5.12 billion went to privatization-related costs as well as marginal operating expenses allotted for the National Transmission Corporation.