PSALM books open to public scrutiny

19 Aug 2010

The Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corporation did not request confidentiality in its financial records, contrary to claims in news reports.

PSALM was reacting to news reports attributing the confidentiality request to Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Executive Director Francis Juan. In the media reports, Atty. Juan clearly stated that PSALM requested confidentiality only for its loan documents. Atty. Juan did not say that confidentiality was requested for PSALM's financial records, but reports nevertheless stated the contrary.

PSALM never invoked a "confidentiality" clause to stop the ERC from making public the financial records that it submitted in relation to its application for Universal Charge to recover the National Power Corporation's stranded debts and stranded contract costs.

PSALM reported that its financial records or books have, in fact, been examined by intervenors during the ERC hearings on stranded debts. The Corporation's financial statements are also audited by the Commission on Audit (COA) and are made available to the public through the COA Web site.

PSALM requested to grant confidentiality only to the loan documents and Independent Power Producer contracts that it submitted to the ERC. The request was made because these contracts contain confidentiality provisions. Thus, opening them to the public would be a breach of these contracts.

PSALM further claimed that confidentiality is proper given the terms and conditions in the loan documents which are not common to all debtors and lenders, namely the Asian Development Bank, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, the World Bank, and other commercial banks. Nevertheless, PSALM assured that these documents were already submitted to the ERC for its scrutiny.

PSALM also emphasized that the filing of a request for confidential treatment of documents is nothing unusual as this is allowed by ERC's Rules of Practice and Procedure and is actually availed of by other parties in their petitions before the regulatory body.

PSALM aligns itself with the Aquino government's thrust for transparency and integrity - values that continue to be the hallmark of PSALM's implementation of its various programs.

Corporate Communications Division
Tel. No. (632) 9029067