PSS: Admin to settle portion of public schools’ unpaid CUC bill

Despite a huge unpaid bill, no public school has been disconnected from the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.’s power and water grids, according to Public School System finance director Richard Waldo.

He said PSS was able to avert the disconnections after the central government assured the utilities firm that it will pay for PSS’ obligations.

PSS reportedly owes CUC $3.6 million for power and water supplies to Commonwealth schools. PSS wants to pass on a portion of that debt-$1.7 million-to the central government to offset the budget allotments for public schools that the government did not turn over to PSS in fiscal year 2011.

Waldo confirmed yesterday that the Fitial administration has already agreed to this proposal, which was stipulated in the memorandum of agreement that PSS recently submitted to CUC.

CUC officials reported to the Commonwealth Public Utilities Commission that it had rejected the MOA because it did not specify the payment terms of the obligation. A promissory note is now being prepared by CUC for both PSS and the central government or whoever will be responsible for this obligation.

CUC also pointed out that, in absorbing PSS’ $1.7 million debt, the central government’s outstanding obligation to CUC will go up because it still has its own utility debt of $2.5 million.

Waldo refused to comment on the rejected MOA, saying the administration is now taking care of the system’s obligation to CUC.

As for the remaining balance that PSS still has to pay CUC-about $1.7 million-he said that PSS has yet to make a payment on this.

“We can only make payments for our obligations when we receive the money from the central government,” he told Saipan Tribune.

CUC chief financial officer Charles Warren disclosed Monday that public schools were supposed to be disconnected last week but the disconnection notices were delayed at the request of the administration, which promised to pay in the next few days.

Warren did not return this reporter’s call yesterday for a payment update made by either party.

CUC had $7.025 million in total government receivables as of September this year, with PSS and the central government’s obligations representing the bulk of the amount. Other autonomous agencies’ debt total $772,511, with NMC’s obligation at $117,285.

CPUC earlier scored CUC officials for its unfair treatment of customers by letting its paying patrons subsidize the shortfall of its delinquent customers and by letting them be reconnected without paying a single penny.

The $6 million collectibles from PSS and central government translates to a month’s supply of fuel for CUC.

Moneth G. Deposa | Reporter

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.