By Myrna M. Velasco – December 25, 2018, 10:00 PM
from Manila Bulletin
The scale of debt payments and settlement of financial obligations by state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) reached a whopping P599.64 billion in the first half of 2018, a company document has shown.
Of the total, the company emphasized that regular debt service amounted to P371.10 billion; while prepayment totaled P69.45 billion.
The bulk of the financial obligations paid had also been those with the contracted independent power producers (IPPs) of privatized National Power Corporation (NPC), which amounted to P153.94 billion.
The level of indebtedness already paid back by PSALM, it was noted, had been comparatively higher versus the magnitude of NPC privatization proceeds already collected.
It must be culled that under the prescription of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), the revenues fetched from the divestment of NPC generating assets and supply contracts shall be channeled to pay off the monstrous power sector liabilities.
According to PSALM, the total privatization proceeds it logged to-date summed up to US$19.97 billion or an equivalent of P944.60 billion based on prevailing peso-dollar exchange rate.
Of the figure, P545.20 billion has already been collected by asset-seller PSALM while the balance of P383.17 billion would still be up for remittance and amortization payments.
The revenues on asset divestments yet to be remitted to PSALM include the remaining balance of P22.73 billion, which accounts for the advance payment of transmission-firm concessionaire National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.
PSALM expounded that the total collections of P545.2 billion included “interest income on placements,” and “were exclusively utilized for the liquidation of financial obligations.”
Aside from debt settlements, PSALM also earmarked P5.10 billion for other privatization-related expenses; as well as P0.05 billion operating expense for the privatized National Transmission Corporation.
Given the falling value of the Philippine currency versus the US dollar throughout the year, however, PSALM was not able to trim much the level of power sector debts – leveling at P462.6 billion by end-September this year.