THE Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) has extended the deadline for dues and obligations owed by its power customers, as well as Universal Charges collecting entities and independent power producer administrators (IPPAs), operating in areas under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

The extension follows the Energy Regulatory Commission’s (ERC) order to the energy industry to further extend the grace period afforded to power consumers affected by the lockdown, which was imposed to contain coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In its latest advisory, PSALM, which is tasked to privatize government power assets, extended the deadlines on power and ancillary services billings.

These include regular power bills; the Deferred Accounting Adjustments (DAA) on the Generation Rate Adjustment Mechanism (GRAM) and the Incremental Currency Exchange Rate Adjustment (ICERA); the Automatic Cost Recovery Mechanism (ACRM) True-up Adjustments; remittances entitled to the prompt payment discount (PPD); Restructured Accounts; and the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines’ (NGCP) Ancillary Services payments.

The deferred payments due during the ECQ period between March 15 and May 15 can be paid in four installments over the next four billing months, and will be reflected as a separate billing item.

PSALM extended further the due date for the Universal Charges for missionary electrification, watershed rehabilitation, and management and stranded debt, which are paid for by electricity consumers, while it also granted collecting entities or agents the same grace period extension to remit such charges.

PSALM will also delay the disbursement of the collected universal charges to beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, IPPAs will only be granted an extension to their payments to PSALM, along with bill deferments, if they can prove that the distribution utilities (DU) it supplies with energy remain operating in areas under ECQ.

“It is only when it can be sufficiently shown to the satisfaction of PSALM that an IPPA supplies electric energy to a DU that serves an area that remains under ECQ beyond 30 April 2020, that a proportionate amount of the payments due PSALM from the said IPPA can be deferred and subjected to the extensions mentioned in this latest PSALM Advisory,” it said.

Members of the power industry in areas under the more-relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) will follow the earlier deadlines set by PSALM.

Areas still under ECQ include the National Capital Region, Central Luzon (except Aurora), Calabarzon, Pangasinan, Benguet, Iloilo province, Cebu, Bacolod City, Davao City, Albay, and Zamboanga.

The rest of the country transitioned to GCQ between May 1 and 15. — Adam J. Ang