Benguet to sue Luzon Hydro

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Thursday, April 24, 2014


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Governor Nestor Fongwan said the province is ready to file a case against Luzon Hydo Corporation.

Fongwan said a meeting with the Provincial Legal Officer last week sealed the decision to finally file the civil case against the company in a bid to collect millions in National Wealth Tax due to the province.

The Provincial Board previously granted authority for the Governor to file a case before the Energy Regulatory Commission, compelling the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management and four other corporations, including Luzon Hydro to pay their share of taxes from power generation facilities operating in the province.

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Fongwan said the provincial legal team is now preparing papers as well as the actual amount due to the province before the case is filed.

The claim of the province is anchored on violations of Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) mandating power generation companies to remit shares to the local government units.

PSALM with Vivant Sta. Clara Northern Renewable Generation Corporation, the Luzon Hydro Corporation, the National Power Corporation, and the Power Development Corporation are included in the case to be filed.

The EPIRA states non-payment of the local governments share in the national wealth is contrary to its provisions.

The share from the national wealth tax is divided between the province and the host municipality and barangay.

Fongwan said host municipalities have been asked by the province to submit their notes and computations to be able to mount a solid case and eventually collect what is due to the province.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 25, 2014.

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