THE GOVERNMENT-owned Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) is providing power stakeholders with a grace period of paying their fees which due dates fall during the period of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), as well as it is allowing them to pay their dues in installments in the next four billing months.

On Tuesday, PSALM released its latest advisory adhering to the recent orders by the Department of Energy and the Energy Regulatory Commission on the payments of dues and obligations within the energy sector, as the ECQ, which was originally set to end on April 14, was extended up to the end of April.

Payments of PSALM’s fees on power billings and ancillary services that fall within the quarantine period from March 15 to April 30 were put on hold.

The order covers payments of distribution utilities, industries, ecozones and government entities of regular power bills, deferred accounting adjustments (DAA) on GRAM (generation rate adjustment mechanism) and ICERA (incremental currency exchange rate adjustment), ACRM (automatic cost recovery mechanism) true-up adjustments, remittances entitled to prompt payment discount (PPD), restructured accounts on power, and ancillary services payments due from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

Also, a deadline extension is given to independent power producers (IPP) administrators for their capacity and energy payments to PSALM. They are also allowed to pay their deferred dues in installments, provided that IPPs and fuel suppliers adopt the same due date extension and payment scheme.

Entities collecting universal charges are expected to provide a grace period and a staggered bills payment scheme to electricity consumers, while PSALM also grants the collecting entities (CE) with the same extension for their remittances of universal charges to the agency.

These universal charges include missionary electrification charge, environmental charge for watershed rehabilitation and management and stranded debts.

The agency tasked to privatize the government’s power assets has been given a grace period to disburse funds from these payments to its beneficiaries.

“PSALM strongly reiterates its requirement to power customers, CEs, NGCP and IPPAs to immediately remit to PSALM any proportionate amounts that they may have already collected from their own customers, if any, without awaiting the extended due dates,” it said in the advisory.

“Customers who have the ability to pay are encouraged to continue to timely settle their bills with PSALM within the original due dates,” it added.

In a separate statement, PSALM said on Tuesday that it had again moved the deadline for the submission of bids for the third round of public bidding for the Malaya thermal power plant and its underlying land.

It set the new deadline at 12:00 noon on June 30 from May 30, citing the extension of the enhanced community quarantine.

PSALM said the dates of the other bidding activities were also adjusted. The new deadline for the filing of a request to bid as a consortium is on May 11. The submission of documentary deliverables is rescheduled to May 15, while the release of asset purchase agreement to qualified bidders is set to happen on June 16 or not later than seven days before the bid submission deadline.

PSALM said it would disclose the minimum bid price to qualified bidders immediately after it had secured the board’s decision on the matter. Its board is awaiting feedback from the Commission on Audit on the request of PSALM to allow a discounting mechanism that would lower the minimum bid price.

The agency said it was monitoring the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and that it would issue appropriate supplemental bid bulletins to modify the dates of the bidding process should these are needed. — Adam J. Ang