Power firm open to dialogue with Phividec officials

AN OFFICIAL of Steag State Power Incorporated (SPI) said the power generation company is willing to sit down with officials of the Phividec Industrial Authority (PIA) to clarify a supposed misunderstanding over the company’s unsettled tax obligations

Jerome Soldevilla, communications officer of Steag State Power Incorporated (SPI), said they are open for a dialogue with the new set of Phividec Board of Directors to discuss issues on alleged unpaid taxes.

Soldevilla said they recognize the authority of the Phividec to collect taxes based on what the law prescribes.

"Steag is fully cooperating with Phividec officials as well as with the local government units (LGUs) of our host communities in settling concerns of public interests such as the real property taxes," Soldevilla said in a text message.

Since Steag started operating in 2006, Soldevilla said the company has been committed to "follow the law and have complied with all statutory requirements including payments of all applicable taxes as prescribed by law."

"We are open to discussing kay basin naay misunderstanding so we are cooperating with Phividec. We are set to met with them sa bag-o nga board," Soldevilla said.

Newly appointed member of Phividec board Benjo Benaldo said they are willing to listen to Steag's explanation.

Steag is just one of the delinquent locators, which owed the government over P1 billion, Benaldo said.

He said other delinquent companies on the top 10 list are MICTSI, Ferrochrome, PSC, Union Bank, Top Forest, Vicmar, Napocor, Axent, and Department of Public Works and Highways’ Tulay ng Pangulo, and several others.

He said at the time of his appointment, he was tasked to look into and collect all collectibles from companies settling within the Phividec jurisdiction.

"We are willing to listen kay klaro ang instruction sa ako (since the intruction to me) before I came in nga (that is) to make sure nga tanan (all) collectibles mabayran (will be paid), kay ang among (beqacuse our) lawyers ga-insist nga (insisted that) we have the legal basis," Benaldo said.

The former Cagayan de Oro representative for the first district said the dialogue should happen soon and it will not only apply to Steag but all companies with supposed unsettled tax payments.

"This is to make sure nga mabayran ang gobyerno sa tanan nga angay sa gobyerno (that the government will be paid). I am just doing my job," Benaldo said.

"I don't know who will initiate the dialogue but f or me I just need an explanation why this is happening and then we'll see and we'll take it from there," Benaldo added.