10 Aug 2010
The Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corporation belied allegations that bonuses, night differentials, and consultancy fees were tucked into the Universal Charge (UC) applications it filed, saying the claims in media reports were wrong, baseless and malicious.
The news reports erroneously stated that PSALM's corporate expenditures that included bonuses, night differentials, and consultancy fees were part of the PhP470.8- billion stranded debts of National Power Corporation which would be recovered through the UC.
PSALM asserted that the expenditures were never part of the UC applications it filed with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), and its officers never claimed in hearings before the ERC that the expenditures are being claimed under the UC.
These expenses were recently reported in media as part of PSALM's UC applications. The fact is, however, these were only items in the Corporation's financial statements that were required by the ERC.
PSALM Vice President for Finance, Lourdes Alzona, as PSALM's witness, was questioned on the contents of the financial statements. She never claimed in her testimony that these expense items would be recovered through the UC.
For purposes of the UC-stranded debt filing, the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) and the ERC allow the recovery of the following only: (1) National Power's outstanding financial obligations as of the effectivity of the EPIRA; (2) new loans contracted by National Power after the effectivity of the EPIRA; (3) loans incurred by PSALM on behalf of National Power and loans contracted by the National Transmission Corporation prior to its privatization; and (4) obligations in accordance with ERC guidelines.
In its filings, PSALM stringently adhered to the provisions of the EPIRA and the ERC's rules. The UC petition for stranded debt is pending with the ERC. PSALM has appealed to the public to allow ERC to evaluate the petition and to track the hearings on the subject.
Corporate Communications Division