• SC ruling on Naga plant ‘grossly disadvantageous’ to government – SPC

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    LISTED SPC Power Corp. on Wednesday called the recent ruling of the Supreme Court (SC) on the Naga Power Plant Complex in Cebu as “grossly disadvantageous to the government.”

    The energy firm is preparing its motion for reconsideration to the SC which reiterates SPC’s position that the decision “destabilizes the investment climate in the Philippines and retroactively changes the rules on competitive bidding.”

    “With the Supreme Court’s ruling to reinstate the notice of award to Therma Power Visayas Inc. (TPVI), the government not only stands to lose P54 million but is deprived of a rebid of the Naga Power plant which would likely result in an even higher price for the government,” SPC said in a statement on Wednesday.

    The high tribunal earlier declared as null and void SPC’s right to top the bid of TPVI by 5 percent.
    TVPI is a unit of Aboitiz Power Corporation.

    SPC Power said the SC’s decision to reinstate the award of the Naga facility to Therma Power was contrary to its earlier position that “public bidding is the better means to secure the best bid for the government.”

    The SC, in its decision dated September 28, 2015, stated that “attracting as many bidders to participate in bidding for public assets is still the better means to secure the best bid for the government and achieve the objective under EPIRA (Electric Power Industry Reform Act) to privatize NPC (National Power Corp.) assets in the most optimal manner.”

    TPVI offered a bid of P1.088 billion during the bidding conducted by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) in March 2014 wherein the right to top was known to the bidders.

    SPC exercised its right to top and matched TPVI’s bid and paid an additional P54 million, or a total of P1.143 billion to PSALM. However, the Naga facility was eventually awarded and turned over to SPC in September 2014.

    In June 2014, former Senator Sergio Osmena III filed a case against SPC and TVPI with the SC questioning the validity of the right to top, arguing that it was non-competitive.

    “We urge PSALM, chaired by the Finance Department, to file its own motion for reconsideration as clearly, the decision is disadvantageous to the government at a time when government needs much-needed funds for employment and other basic services,” SPC said.

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