May 27, 2024

Officials of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation has assured the city council the company will not contest whatever decision the National Power Corporation will make in relation to the cases it filed against the city government.
Lawyer Eric Tamayo, one of PSALM’s counsels, said the latter will honor if the NPC decides to waive its claims for payment of back rentals if the city government buys the lot under the power generation company’s name.
The NPC has filed civil cases against the city government to recover the lot where Baguio’s sewerage treatment plant is located and payment of back rentals, but negotiations led to a deal that the former will drop the charges if the city government buys the land.
This prompted the council to authorize Mayor Benjamin Magalong to sign the memorandum of agreement between the city and PSALM for the purchase of the NPC property at Sanitary Camp. PSALM now owns the generation and real property assets of NPC pursuant to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act.
A confusion occurred when PSALM asked the council to remove the condition in the MOA that the city’s purchase of the NPC lot will serve as basis for a compromise agreement involving the cases NPC filed against the city government.
During the council session on April 11, Tamayo said since PSALM is not a party to the case filed by NPC, it cannot be involved in the negotiations between the city government and NPC.
Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda said what the city government only wants is a commitment from PSALM to honor whatever decision the NPC will make involving the civil cases.
Tamayo said PSALM would agree to that intention, but reiterated they cannot comment to the questions regarding NPC’s waiving of the back rentals since PSALM’s involvement is limited to the sale of the lot.
Tabanda said the city is not asking PSALM to waive the rentals on NPC’s behalf.
“What we are only asking from PSALM is a commitment that it will not contest NPC’s decision regarding the case,” Tabanda said.
Tamayo said PSALM will agree only to that extent.
Assistant City Legal Officer Melchor Rabanes said in earlier negotiations, NPC has committed it will waive its claims for back rentals once the deed of sale for the purchase of the Sanitary Camp lot is signed.
The council tasked the City Legal Office to coordinate with PSALM for the enhancement of the MOA for the sale of the NPC property to address the provisions that are not comfortable for PSALM, but the essence that the latter will not contest NPC’s actions involving the case should be maintained. – Jane B. Cadalig