by Myrna Velasco – November 23, 2015
from Manila Bulletin
State-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) has settled P52.55 billion in outstanding obligations this year, comprising mainly of debts and lease payments plus interest charges.
The company, in a statement to the media, has noted that the debt portion amounted to P19.53 billion, while interest charges hovered at P13.27 billion.
Of the total financial obligations settled, a considerable amount of P19.75 billion had been funneled to lease obligations to the independent power producers.
PSALM President Lourdes S. Alzona has specified that the amount paid also included P3.0 billion worth of debt prepayments.
She stressed that this is a step in keeping pace with the other half of PSALM’s mandate – which is liability management. The other one is on the privatization of the government-owned power assets.
The scale of payments, Alzona qualified, had been accomplished “amidst the impact of currency fluctuations and other market forces.”
The PSALM chief executive said the company was able to re-build its cash hoard following the divestment of the remaining National Power Corporation (NPC) assets that are still under its charge.
“The payment for Power Barges 101, 102 and 103, which were turned over to their new owners in July this year, was the latest addition to the privatization proceeds of PSALM,” she averred.
With the government-run firm’s financial liabilities swelling to P1.63 trillion in 2003, it has been noted that its debts liquidation scheme had so far slashed this now to P674.04 billion.
Of the current amount, it was emphasized that P108.82 billion would account for interest charges.
The company is looking forward to the divestment of the remaining power assets so it can raise more cash to pay off debts and likewise pare the universal charges that have to be passed on to consumers.