City Hall, PECO reach tax settlement but…

PECO legal counsel Eloisa Sy (left) and Public Engagement and Government Affairs head Marcelo Cacho. (Emme Rose Santiagudo)

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

Panay Electric Company (PECO) is set to settle its unpaid real property taxes to the city government on Thursday but their agreement needs ratification by the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP).

PECO’s legal counsel Eloisa Sy refused to divulge the agreement between PECO and the city government following their closed-door meeting with Mayor Jerry Treñas Thursday morning.

“We cannot divulge details to what transpired in the room yet until the technicalities and legalities will be ironed out. We will wait until tomorrow or next week,” she said.

According to Sy, the SP must first authorize and ratify the agreement.

“Technically we don’t have an agreement until the Sanggunian gives the authority and ratifies the agreement,” she said.

The unpaid real estate taxes and penalties of PECO amounting to P106 million has prompted Treñas to proceed with the auction of PECO’s assets on December 12, 2019.

Reports have been circulating that PECO has to pay around P134 million in unpaid taxes and penalties to the city.

While PECO refused to mention any amount, the company has a pending case before the Local Board of Assessment Appeals filed in 2017 questioning the real property tax assessment value for 2016.

“The first assessment is around P98 million. The second is P75M. It has to be ratified. We will pay whatever if they come with a comfortable figure for the city government,” Sy said.

PECO Administrative Manager Marcelo said they are ready to pay in full once the City Council approves the agreement during their regular session next Tuesday, December 10, 2019.

“It’s up to the City Council now to approve that agreement. It’s like a board and the President and the president cannot sign the document without the approval of the board. PECO hopes to settle everything and pay in full by next week,” he said.