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PSALM preparing master plan for properties in Quezon City, Bagac

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STATE-LED Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) is preparing a master plan for two properties, including the lot on which the National Power Corp. (Napocor) holds office, to maximize the gains on the assets.

“That land, which is close to four hectares, is actually an asset of Napocor that has been transferred to PSALM for privatization,” Irene Joy B. Garcia, PSALM president and chief executive officer, told reporters in a chance interview.

“Another one that we’re targetting, which is very substantial, is the Bagac property of PSALM. That’s 44 hectares,” she said, describing the property’s location as right beside Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, a tourist destination that showcases a collection of heritage houses.

PSALM was created under Republic Act No. 9136, the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001, the law that restructured the Philippine power sector. It took over the ownership of all existing government-owned power generation assets. Its principal purpose is to manage the orderly sale and privatization of the assets.

“The master planning will be on a per asset basis, kasi iba iba ang feature (because the properties’ features are different),” she said.

One property, for instance, where a power plant used to stand on Isla de Provisor, Paco, Manila along the Pasig River, will be sold as is next week.

Ms. Garcia said a master plan is being readied for the Napocor compound at the corner of Quezon Ave. and BIR Road in Quezon City.

She said the property could be developed via a joint venture with a private entity.

“We don’t know yet. That’s why it’s very important to start off with a very efficient master planning of the entire compound. Once we have that, then we can do the privatization based on the outcome of the master planning,” she said.

“We’re hoping to do it before the end of 2018,” she said, thus the privatization could be scheduled by next year.

For the Bagac property, Ms. Garcia said the development is possibly geared towards making it a vacation area to take advantage of the existing “greenery” within the area.

“For Bagac, [the master plan] it’s either this year or early next year,” she said, adding that the issues to be resolved as certain areas are being used by Napocor and the management of the Bataan nuclear power plant.

PSALM earlier said it will open on Aug. 15 the bids for the Manila thermal power plant land spanning 20,975 square meters.

It also disclosed the schedule for the bidding of the Malaya thermal power plant on an “as is, where is” basis. Bidding for the plant previously failed, but this time the land on which it sits on will be bundled with the privatization, Ms. Garcia said.

PSALM had said it generated privatization proceeds from assets amounting to P918.5 billion, of which it had collected P545.2 billion. The the balance is based on a payment schedule.

The agency, which assumed in 2003 the liabilities of Napocor at P1.24 trillion, had since reduced the debt.

As of June 30, 2018, its remaining principal debt was down to P246.73 billion, while the remaining obligations under its independent power producer contracts amounted to P202.7 billion. — Victor V. Saulon