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MARCH 13, 2012 DATE

NR # 2677B

House body urges TRB to collect PNCCs P4 billion unpaid concession fees
The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) should initiate legal action to exact payment from the Philippine National Construction Company (PNCC) of about P4-billion unpaid concession fees to the government. This was the consensus of the members of the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability chaired by Rep. Jerry Treas (Lone District, Iloilo City), during the congressional inquiry into the non-payment by the PNCC to the national government thru the TRB of the sum of around P4billion representing unpaid concession fees. Reps. Rufus Rodriguez (Cagayan de Oro) and Maximo Rodriguez, Jr. (Abante Mindanao) initiated the congressional inquiry through House Resolution 826. Treas urged the TRB to initiate legal action, recommending that the issue on the unpaid concession fees be submitted for arbitration. Treas also asked the officials of the PNCC to submit its financial statement for 2010 to the House during the scheduled public hearing. Earlier, the Commission on Audit (COA) reported that the PNCC owed the government, thru the TRB, P3.724 billion in concession fees and penalty charges as of the end of 2009. Treas said the situation is like getting money from the left pocket and putting it into the right pocket because both the PNCC and the TRB are government institutions. Under the Toll Operation Agreement, the PNCC is required to pay the TRB for 30 years a concession fee of approximately P912 million on scheduled dates with a penalty of two percent (2%) per month of the total amount due should the PNCC fail to observe the schedule, and the amount is not paid within 365 days. In the 2009 report, COA stated that the PNCC owed the TRB P1.046-billion in concession fees plus P2.678 billion in penalties with no payments being made in 2009. TRB Executive Director Edmund Reyes said the PNCC owes the government P4.238 billion as of December 2011, including penalties. Appearing during a recent public hearing of the house body, PNCC President Luis Sison said they have insufficient cash funds to pay their obligation. However, Sison said the PNCC will offer their 13-hectare lot located in Macapagal Avenue, Pasay City and a 3-hectare lot in Bicutan, Paranaque City to pay off their debt. Rhouan Loseriaga, TRB Board Secretary, said the TRB intended to terminate the toll operations of PNCC as early as 2009 but was prevented by an opinion of the Department of Justice. Several demands were made by TRB for PNCC to fully pay the concession fees with interest and penalties, but still the obligation has not been fully satisfied, Loseriaga said. (30) dpt