WMPC-Crown compromise deal ends today

The 60-day compromise agreement between the Western Mindanao Power Corp. and the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) through its investment management Crown/Desco would end today, July 2, and no extension was in sight yet as of yesterday.

Vice Mayor Rommel Agan told the press briefing yesterday that Crown/Desco had manifested its willingness to extend its compromise agreement with WMPC for another 60 days.

Agan intervened on behalf of the city government during the meeting at the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in Manila last Monday. Another meeting was held last Friday, this time attended by City Legal Officer Jesus Carbon Jr., who reiterated the city government’s position and request for possible extension of the agreement

However, he said the WMPC through its mother company, Alsons Power, represented by Mr. Tirso Santillan called up mayor’s office yesterday morning with the information that the company would only agree to any extension of the compromise agreement if Crown/Desco will pay an additional P230 million.

No response yet from Crown as of yesterday morning, hitting a new deadlock on the extension of the compromise agreement.

Agan recalled that under the May 3 compromise agreement Crown/Desco paid the amount of P220 million out of the P467 million unpaid bills as claimed by WMPC.

The ERC is hearing on two cases: WMPC demanding payment for P467 million from Crown, and Zamcelco through Crown demanding refund from WMPC in the amount of P441 million in alleged overbilling.

They ERC set another hearing on both cases today in Manila, which will be attended by Mayor Beng Climaco.

Meanwhile, Crown maintains its payment of current power bills from WMPC amounting to P71.1 million for the period May 3-25, and P69.9 million for May 26-June 17.

“So, we are not on the red. We just want WMPC to bill us the right amount of power because this will be passed on to Zamcelco’s member-consumers,” said Atty. Lorenzo Reyes, legal counsel for Crown.

He assured that once WMPC would pay the refund “we will return it to the consumers. That is the commitment of Crown.”-(Vic Larato)