PSALM presidency vacant again

by Myrna Velasco – January 24, 2016

from Manila Bulletin

The position of president and chief executive officer (CEO) at state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) is reportedly vacant again, after its career executive Lourdes S. Alzona opted to just take the officer-in-charge (OIC) post once more.

The board of directors of PSALM elected Alzona to PSALM’s presidency August last year following the resignation of Emmanuel R. Ledesma Jr. due to controversies hounding the contract award for a rehabilitation of one of Agus complex’s generating facility.

Even then, however, legal questions are already being hurled against Alzona’ s election as company president; especially so since previous appointments at PSALM have always been done by the President of the Philippines.

It was gathered that Alzona opted to re-take the OIC post to ensure that her retirement benefits will not be jeopardized by legal questions on her appointment.

As this developed, reports have also been circulating that Ledesma will be having his ‘industry comeback’ as one of the members of the board of state-run National Transmission Corporation.

Since he bowed out from PSALM’s helm last year, Ledesma had not been heard of much in industry events and gatherings.

Meanwhile, Alzona became a controversial figure when she pushed for the termination of the independent power producer administration (IPPA) contract for the supply agreement of the 1,200-megawatt Ilijan gas-fired power project. A court restraining order eventually prevented PSALM’s move.

It was considerably a tumultuous legal battle with South Premiere Power Corporation, the Ilijan-IPPA corporate vehicle of San Miguel Energy Corporation.

The legal tussle had not ended with the Ilijan IPPA, but had also ignited San Miguel’s filing of a plunder case against Alzona on a separate case involving the supply contract of the 1,200MW Sual coal-fired power facility in Pangasinan.

Beyond the turbulent legal battles that PSALM had been enmeshed with, the company managed to work on its other mandate which is the privatization of the remaining assets of the National Power Corporation.

Many of the undisposed assets though may already be tossed to the next administration, primarily the hydro power plants, including the controversial sale plan for the Agus-Pulangui hydro facilities in Mindanao.