ILIGAN: The Iligan City government and a liquidator acting on behalf of creditors of what was formerly the National Steel Corp. (NSC) are fighting for possession of the company after the former insisted that it acquired the firm’s assets after it failed to pay more than P4 billion in real property taxes, which the latter disputes.
According to Iligan City Administrator Dexter Sumaoy, liquidator Danilo L. Concepcion’s move to take back NSC was based on the October 7, 2011 decision of Branch 57 of the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) in a civil case that favored the company.
In that case, Concepcion argued that the NSC paid its taxes on real properties—which included land, buildings, equipment and support facilities—from the fourth quarter of 1999 to October 15, 2004.
Iligan Mayor Celso Regencia filed an appeal to overturn the Makati RTC’s decision with the Court of Appeals (CA), and later with the Supreme Court (SC), which dismissed it on June 21, 2016.
The accumulated taxes on the NSC properties reached P4.698 billion by October 2016. These consisted of the basic tax (38.99 percent), special education fund (44.44 percent) and share of the villages (15.44 percent).
The Iligan city council held an auction of the NSC’s assets on October 19 that year in compliance with the Local Government Code. City Treasurer Louela Maybituin bought all of the assets on the city government’s behalf after no one bid for them, and declared them forfeited in accordance with Section 263 of the Local Government Code.
The accumulated taxes on the properties reached about P5.843 billion in 2017. Maybituin declared the assets free from any hindrance or third-party claim after the NSC failed to redeem them and no injunctive order was issued. The city government acquired the properties on October 19 this year with the approval of the mayor and the city council.
The NSC was first established as state-owned National Shipyards and Steel Corp. (Nassco) in 1951. Jacinto and Sons took over Nassco in 1962 and renamed it as Iligan Integrated Steel Mills (IISM). In 1974, the National Development Corp. (NDC) reorganized the IISM as NSC, which was later sold to Wing Tiek/Westmont in 1994.
Renong/Hottick Investments Ltd. took control of the company from 1996 to 1999, when the creditors assigned a liquidator to it. NSC became known as Global Steel Philippines from December 2004 to August 2005.