By Vince Angelo C. Ferreras

LOANS amounting to P70.090 million from the Natural Resources Development Corporation (NRDC) have remained uncollected by the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) for more than 10 years, the Commission on Audit (CoA) said in a report.

In its 2018 annual audit report on PNOC, CoA said NRDC entered into two loan agreements with PNOC-Energy Development Corporation (PNOC-EDC) on March 9 and June 11, 2004.

NRDC entered the said loan agreements “to advance NRDC’s portion of its equity investment in the capital stock of the then Natural Resources Mining and Development Corporation, now Philippine Mining Development Corporation.”

“The first loan agreement was executed on March 9, 2004 wherein PNOC-EDC agreed to loan an amount of P10,000,000 to NRDC, with 6% interest rate per annum, net of any tax, and payable within 7 years,” said the state auditors.

They added, “The second loan agreement was executed on June 11, 2004 wherein PNOC-EDC agreed to loan an additional amount of P45,000,000 to NRDC. Of the agreed loan amount of P45,000,000, P10,000,000 (was) released on July 1, 2004 and another P10,000,000 on September 2, 2004 or a total of P20,000,000 only, also subject to 6% interest, net of any tax, and payable within 7 years.”

CoA said receivables from NRDC in the amount of P30,000,000 and interest amounting to P40,089,649.48 or a total of P70,089,649.48 as of December 31 last year remained uncollected for more than 10 years.

“Management [of PNOC], in its effort to settle the issue with NRDC, sent various letters to coordinate with the latter,” said CoA.

State auditors also noted NRDC’s February 10, 2017, letter to PNOC, claiming that its contract with the latter has no provision on the 6% interest.

Auditors also cited three follow-up letters by PNOC dated March 26, July 18, and December 12 last year, requesting a meeting with NRDC to resolve this matter.

“As of this date, there is no concrete agreement yet between PNOC and NRDC. PNOC is still awaiting…the response of NRDC regarding its request to hold a meeting in order to resolve the issue,” said CoA.

CoA has recommended that PNOC “file appropriate legal charges against NRDC, if necessary.”