PSALM pursues P33-B collection

Published October 26, 2020, 7:00 AM

by Myrna M. Velasco

State-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) is pursuing the collection of more than P33 billion worth of arrears from its contracted customers for power supply.

The bulk of the receivables, according to the company, are with electric cooperatives at P18.761 billion, while the aggregate amount owed by its industrial clients had been placed at P7.841 billion.

 For distribution utility-clients, total receivables being chased by PSALM had been at P6.554 billion; and for government entities, it will need to collect P788.03 million; then P216.05 million with economic zones.

PSALM said the biggest customer-debt it will need to collect is with Lanao Del Sur Electric Cooperative worth P10.512 billion; and another major receivables would be with the Olongapo Public Utilities Department for P6.459 billion.

The other big-ticket amounts are those with: PICOP Resources Inc. for P3.107 billion; then Albay Electric Cooperative Inc. for P2.810 billion; Maguindanao Electric Cooperative Inc. for P2.129 billion; and Global Steelworks International Inc.  for P1.783 billion.

Of the total amount of receivables, PSALM further stated that 13 are with existing customers for P13.918 billion; 17 have been transferred customers and delinquent collecting entities for P11.606 billion.

The government-run firm said it also deals with dormant accounts and these are booked as arrears amounting to P8.633 billion.

For the debts of the Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao electric cooperatives, there had been previous proposal to have them ‘condoned’, but there was no specific declaration or policy laid down yet by Malacanang on that.

In the setting up of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) in Mindanao, energy sector stakeholders have raised that the “debt concerns’ of the two electric cooperatives need to be sorted to ensure seamless operation of the market in that grid.

The emerging consensus is for PSALM to continually supply their power requirements – that way, the industry can steer clear of concerns of non-payment on traded capacity in the spot market.

 The spot market in Mindanao had been targeted to reach commercial operations since 2016, but several concerns have yet to be addressed so it can function effectively similar to the pre-cursor market covering Luzon and Visayas grids.