The vice mayor of this town has questioned the alleged sale of a 225-megawatt power plant by former officials of the provincial government to a private company.
Vice Mayor Henry Bacurnay said the municipal government could lose P60 million in yearly income if the Bauang Private Power Corp. (BPPC) was indeed sold to the 1590 Energy Corp. for P1.8 billion.
'We were not informed of the sale. I heard that it was sold for P1.8 billion. We would like to know how much the amount is exactly because we (Bauang local officials) were not given a share of the proceeds. This (P60 million) is a big loss for us,' Bacurnay said.
He said the annual taxes collected from the power plant are divided into three shares: 40 percent and 35 percent for the municipal and provincial governments, respectively, and 25 percent for Barangay Payocpoc, where the plant is located.
'The sale is grossly disadvantageous to the government, because a mere estimate in building a 10-megawatt power plant costs around P1 billion. How much more if it's 225 megawatts?' Bacurnay asked.
He said the transaction was made between the 1590 Energy Corp. and the provincial government under then governor Francisco Emmanuel Ortega III.
The sale was reportedly completed in April this year, or before the May elections.
'Maybe it's legal because he (Ortega) was given authority by the provincial board. But was it moral? Was it proper? These are the questions that we would like the provincial government and the former governor to answer,' Bacurnay said.
He said he filed a resolution asking the provincial government to shed light on the matter.
The provincial government took over the ownership after the plant failed to pay P1.87 billion in taxes.