• Senator questions unremitted dividends of PSALM

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    THE Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy has called for a Senate inquiry into the non-remittance by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) of P27.28 billion in dividends owed to the national government over the past decade.

    “PSALM must provide a detailed accounting of its liabilities to the national government and give a satisfactory explanation as to why it has not complied with its clear-cut responsibilities under the law for more than a decade now,” Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, said on Monday after filing Senate Resolution 234 calling for an inquiry by his committee.

    A government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC) PSALM tasked with the management and privatization of energy assets inherited from the National Power Corporation (NPC), and is mandated by Republic Act 7656 to declare and remit at least fifty percent of its annual net earnings as cash, stock, or property dividends to the Bureau of Treasury.

    However, in its 2015 Annual Audit Report of PSALM the Commission on Audit (COA) revealed that PSALM had only remitted P2.11 billion from 2004 to 2015 despite declaring net earnings of P58.78 billion over the same period.

    According to Senator Gatchalian, the 93-percent shortfall in expected remittances must be investigated to uncover potential liabilities for poor corporate management or even malversation and corruption.

    “We need to get to the bottom of this questionable misplacement of funds so that we can recover this money and have it delivered to its rightful place within the National Treasury,” he said.

    Officials from PSALM did not respond to efforts to reach the agency for comment as of press time on Monday.

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