BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya: California Energy Casecnan Water and Energy Company (CalEnergy), an American firm managing and operating an irrigation and power project in Alfonso Castañeda town, has finally agreed to pay P1.7 billion in overdue real property taxes (RPT) to the provincial government.
CalEnergy is the owner of the giant $580-million Casecnan Multi-Purpose Irrigation and Power Project (CMIPP), a hydroelectric facility composed of two impounding dams and a power plant, connected by a pair of 26-kilometer diversion tunnels.
Acting provincial treasurer Rhoda Moreno said this development is an offshoot of a series of consultations and dialogues between and among stakeholders initiated by Deputy Speaker and Rep. Carlos Padilla of Nueva Vizcaya’s lone district.
Moreno said there were issues and concerns raised by CalEnergy and the government which needed to be clarified on the long-delayed collection of RPT from the company.
The CMIPP was constructed during the time of President Fidel Ramos and has been in operation for the last 14 years diverting irrigation waters from Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces for irrigation of farmlands and to augment power requirements in Central Luzon.
“Now a new interim agreement was finally arrived at for the payment of the said long overdue real property taxes,” Moreno said.
Moreno said an existing interim agreement will expire next month and had to be renewed after series of talks between the provincial government, CalEnergy, National Irrigation Administration and the Department of Finance.
She said the new interim agreement which is set to be signed by the concerned agencies offers “staggered scheme of settlement” on CalEnergy’s remaining balance in its payment of RPT to be completed in the last quarter of 2016.