Zamcelco seeks refund on interest, surcharges on taxes paid to city gov’t PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 16 September 2011 17:05

The management of the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) has asked the City Council to study the possibility of refunding the interest and surcharges it paid as franchise and real property taxes to the city government amounting to P60 million.

Of the P60 million, P32 million was paid for the franchise tax plus the surcharge of around P16 million and P8 million has been paid for the real property tax with a surcharge of P4 million, Acting Zamcelco General Manager and Project Supervisor Jesus Castro said.

In a dialogue with members of the City Council during its regular session Wednesday, Castro explained that aside from the regular rates that member consumers have been paying to the electric cooperative, an additional amount is being incorporated in the monthly bill purposely to recover the P60 million it earlier paid to the city government.

“We are asking the City Council to study the possibility of refunding not the entire amount we paid but rather the surcharges. To recover it, we are forced to collect what was paid to the government from the 108, 000 member consumers,” Castro said.

Because Zamcelco is not a member of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), the government could not exempt them from paying the necessary taxes, said a cooperative expert Mr. Arturo Cabidog.

During the course of deliberation, Castro cited an instance where one of the electric cooperatives in Mindanao won the case against its local government unit relative to the payment of franchise and real property taxes.

Castro said that Zamcelco will continue to beg the city government to possibly exempt them from paying those taxes considering the fact that “at the end of the day, it’s the member consumers who are going to suffer by paying it back to the cooperative.”

Meanwhile, Zamcelco top management and the three members of the board happily announced during a dialogue at the City Council that the cooperative has successfully reduced its system losst from almost 20 percent to 14 percent now—the lowest since Castro assumeed office early this year.

Massive campaign against violators of the anti-pilferage law has contributed a lot in the reduction of the system loss, Castro said. — Jimmy Villaflores