SPC Power Corp. is urging the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision to award the 153.1-megawatt (MW) Naga Power Plant Complex (NPPC) in Cebu to Aboitiz Power Corp. unit Therma Power Visayas, Inc. (TVPI).
In a statement, the company said the high court’s decision is “grossly disadvantageous to the government.”
SPC is preparing to file a motion for reconsideration before the high court, to reiterate their position that the ruling “destabilizes the investment climate in the Philippines and retroactively changes the rules on competitive bidding.”
“With the Supreme Court’s ruling to reinstate the notice of award to Therma Power Visayas Inc. (TPVI), the government not only stand to lose P54 million but is deprived of a rebid of the Naga Power plant which would likely result in an even higher price for the government,” SPC said.
On October 5, the high court ordered the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) to award the contract to rehabilitate NPPC to TPVI.
It followed a previous ruling of the high tribunal declaring null and void SPC’s right to top the bid by five percent.
SPC said the high court’s new ruling is contrary to its earlier statement that “public bidding is the better means to secure the best bid for the government.”
“We urge PSALM, chaired by the Finance Department, to file its own motion for reconsideration as clearly, the decision is disadvantageous to the government at a time when government needs much-needed funds for employment and other basic services,” SPC said.
In its September 28, 2015 decision, the Supreme Court said “attracting as many bidders to participate in bidding for public assets is still the better means to secure the best bid for the government and achieve the objective under EPIRA (Electric Power Industry Reform Act) to privatize the NPC (National Power Corp.) assets in the most optimal manner.”
In a 2014 bidding, TVPI offered a bid with P1.09-billion versus SPC Power Corp.’s P858.99 million. The latter exercised its right to win the bid with a P1.14-billion payment from its NPPC-Land Lease Agreement (LLA) with PSALM in 2009.
Former Senator Sergio Osmeña III questioned the right to top, saying it violated the Republic Act (RA) no. 9136, known as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) Law and RA no. 9184 or the Procurement Law.
The NPPC contract allows a 25-year lease over the land where the Naga complex is built. The power facility has the 52.5-megawatt Cebu 1 and 56.8-MW Cebu 2 coal-fired thermal power plants, and the 43.8-MW Cebu diesel power plant with six 7.3-MW bunker oil power units.