SMC: No billing for ₱23.94-B PSALM claim

Published February 25, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin


The subsidiary of San Miguel Corporation – South Premiere Power Corporation (SPPC) – has indicated that it did not receive any billing yet for the P23.94 billion worth of ‘unpaid obligations’ being claimed by state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation.

Instead, the diversifying conglomerate stipulated that it just learned of the new figures via statement of the government-owned firm channeled through the media.

“SPPC has not received any billing statement from PSALM claiming the alleged unpaid amount of P23.94 billion. PSALM has released the figure to the media instead of informing affected party SPPC or SMC,” the company has lamented.

The conglomerate similarly emphasized that the latest official billing sent to it by PSALM just amounted to P15.63 billion.

Further, SMC highlighted that PSALM also “failed to explain its reasons for claiming an additional amount of P23.94 billion in generation payments and related charges from SPPC.”

And instead of aggravating the parties’ scuffle via the public domain, SMC President and COO Ramon S. Ang contended that since the legal questions surrounding the matter had already been lodged in the Court, it is just prudent that the parties must let the due process of law to prevail.

He opined that “premature closure by distorting the facts through the court of public opinion is only compromising the integrity of our justice system.”

Ang reiterated the “differing interpretations” that the parties-in-interest have had on the tariff calculations under the Independent Power Producer Administrator (IPPA) contract for the capacity of the 1,200-megawatt Ilijan gas-fired power facility, thus, this is the specific legal issue that SMC and SPPC for that matter would want the court to render its judgment on.

He said “the dispute stems from PSALM’s erroneous use of WESM (Wholesale Electricity Spot Market) prices in computing for generation payments beginning January 2013 to date,” whereas in the case of SPPC, it employed the tariff approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for the Ilijan plant, “when appropriate, as required under the IPPA agreement in computing generation payments to PSALM.”

The conglomerate expounded “such approach is consistent with the baseload nature of the Ilijan power plant and the fact that its capacity is contracted in full to bilateral customers, primarily Meralco (Manila Electric Company), which pays a tariff rate approved by the ERC.”

In the targeted resolution of the pending case, SMC asked PSALM and its board “not (to) undermine the integrity of the court,” and the parties must return to the basics when addressing the concerns relating to the matter.

“We choose to be on the side of law instead of presenting a good yet misleading story. Let us stick to the facts of the case and let the court decide,” Ang stressed.

The case relating to the IPPA deal on the Ilijan plant has been pending with the Mandaluyong regional trial court (RTC) since 2015.