By Juzel L. Danganan
MANILA, Aug. 28 (PNA) – Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management President and Chief Executive Lourdes Alzona said Friday that Olongapo City Mayor Rolen Paulino has agreed to restructure the city government’s power bills incurred since 2013.
Alzona said the restructuring agreement calls for up-front payment of Php 20 million yearly.
”He (Paulino) had agreed to sign the restructuring agreement on June,” Alzona told PNA in a phone interview Friday.
She stressed the mayor should sign the agreement soon, as the final draft is expected to be released next week.
She noted the city government has paid Php 30.5 million out of its Php 4 billion debt since December 2013, adding “the debt payment is moving despite the small amount.” It was reported to have a debt of Php 5 billion to the corporation as of May 31, 2013.
Alzona also said the local government paid Php 10 million last June during the meeting where Paulino agreed to sign the restructuring agreement.
She explained the mayor agreed with the corporation to sign due to their issuance of a final demand letter, adding the corporation has the authority to disconnect their power.
Alzona said Paulino earlier did not want to sign it since it was not his payable.
She bared the initial agreement in 2013 with the former mayor was an upfront payment of Php 20 million per year plus a signed restructuring agreement that would assure future payments. However, Alzona said the former mayor had not signed it.
Currently, she said the city government is not experiencing brownouts with the Olongapo Electricity Distribution Co.’s improved meters and good collection. It took over the management of the distribution utility after the debt had ballooned to Php 5 billion.
The utility is operated and managed by Cagayan Electric Power and Light Co., through a 25-year franchise approved by President Benigno Aquino III. (PNA)