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PSALM corporate life should be extended — Finance chief

THE corporate life of state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) should be extended as it still has debts and assets, Finance Secretary Ralph G. Recto said.

“I think it should be extended. Marami pa ring debts ang PSALM, marami pang dapat ibentang assets (PSALM still has many debts, and there are still many assets that should be sold),” Mr. Recto said on the sidelines of the induction of the new officers of the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines last week.

He said that PSALM’s corporate life may possibly be extended for another 25 years.

PSALM was created under the Republic Act No. 9136, or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001, to lead the privatization of generation and transmission assets of the National Power Corp. and the National Transmission Corp.

Its corporate life was originally due to expire in June 2026 or 25 years after the effectivity of EPIRA. Should PSALM be dissolved, all of its assets and liabilities will revert to the National Government.

Assets under PSALM include the 796.64-megawatt Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan (CBK) hydroelectric power plant complex in Laguna.

The public bidding is set to be held in the second semester of 2024.

“We could probably generate anywhere from P50 billion to P100 billion. That will help plug our deficit for next year,” Mr. Recto said.

The CBK hydro facilities are currently under a 25-year build-rehabilitate-operate-transfer scheme run by independent power producer CBK Power Co. Ltd., which will expire in 2026.

He said that the government is also open to privatizing the Agus-Pulangi hydropower complex in Mindanao.

“We’re open to privatizing that as well. Of course, we have to get the consent of the other stakeholders,” he said, adding that it should also be rehabilitated first.

He also said that power “is always in the strategic investment priorities plan.” — Sheldeen Joy Talavera

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