By Nora Sorino
Iligan City Bureau Chief .
“There’s a good news for all of us Iliganons!.”
Thus said Tuesday by Iligan City Vice Mayor Jemar Vera Cruz during the Independence Day celebration.
According to the vice mayor, the good news that he was mentioning was the update on National Steel Corporation, as he was saying that the city government, the liquidator and the investor will go to the negotiating table soon.
Even though he “won’t go into details” but he said it is the good news at this time.
Earlier, the city and the liquidator headed by Atty. Danilo Concepcion are come to blows over the ownership of said plant.
The city claims ownership of the plant because of the then owners of NSC failed to pay realty taxes to the city which in 2017 had amounted to over 5 Billion pesos.
NSC after several financial difficulties, were then owned and operated by foreign investors, the Malaysian Hottick, and then the Wieng Tek, and then shuttered in 1999 as it collapsed under
the weight of its debts 10 banks led by Philippine National Bank.
It was later operated by an Indian Company, the Global Steel, which did no better.
The city’s present claim that NSC owes P5 billion in taxes, thus its claim of owning said plant is being opposed by Concepcion, saying among other things that NSC don’t owe the city that much as included
in the computation were taxes on idle plant and equipment, which under the law, is “not taxable.” Both parties went to various courts over the matter.
In recent months though the city formed a Technical Working Group which came up with an action plan on how to facilitate the operation again of said steel manufacturing plant.