PGNV Receives Php213 Million Tax Payment from PSALM

In a significant financial development, the provincial government of Nueva Vizcaya has successfully secured a substantial tax payment amounting to P213 million from the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM), said Governor Atty. Jose V. Gambito on November 13, 2023, during a Monday flag-raising ceremony.

Governor Gambito shared that this considerable tax payment is a crucial milestone for the province, reflecting the result of persistent efforts and strategic negotiations. He emphasized that the government is committed to collecting all due taxes, which will enhance the province’s financial standing and increase its ability to fund important development projects.

The payment includes Php153,843,647.22 in transfer tax and Php50 million in surcharges and penalties. The transfer tax was imposed after PSALM took over the operations of the Casecnan Multipurpose Irrigation and Power Project (CMIPP) in Alfonso Castañeda last December 2021. The transfer tax is based on the fair market value of Casecnan, as assessed by the Provincial Assessor’s Office.

The Casecnan Hydro Power Plant, previously operated by CE Casecnan Water and Energy Company Inc., a subsidiary of the US-based Cal Energy Group of Companies, has been a significant project in the region since its development began in 1994. The Built Operate Transfer (BOT) contract between the Philippine Government and CE Casecnan expired in December 2021.

Under Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA Law), PSALM was created as a Government-Owned and Controlled Corporation (GOCC) mandated to take ownership of all existing generation assets, independent power producer (IPP) contracts, real estate, and other disposable assets, and to assume all liabilities and obligations of NPC.

Provincial Treasurer Rhoda Moreno disclosed in an interview that PSALM directly deposited its payment into the Land Bank Account of the provincial government, amounting to Php213,458,060.52. She further explained that the Transfer Tax is a provincial imposition and payment thereof is required before canceling an old tax declaration and issuing a new one in place thereof. Such tax should be paid within 60 days from the date of the execution of the deed.

Governor Gambito expressed his gratitude to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, led by Vice Governor Eufemia A. Dacayo, for its prompt action when he asked for authority to negotiate with PSALM officials regarding their payment. He assured Novo Vizcayanos that the money collected by the provincial government will be used to fund his flagship projects, dubbed as Gayyem ti Umili Projects which include the ‘Kalsada ti Kabanbantayan’, ‘Free Wifi ti Umili’, Silaw ti Umili, Padanum ti Umili, Program on pension to indigent elderlies and the upgrading of provincial managed hospitals.

The Local Chief Executive also emphasized the importance of transparency and accountability in handling the funds, stating, “This is ‘Kuarta ti Umili, para iti Umili’. We owe it to the people to ensure that every peso is spent wisely and transparently. I assure you that this administration is committed to upholding the highest standards of accountability. We will ensure that these funds will be used for the benefit of the Vizcayanos and will contribute significantly to the development of our province”. /rmi

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