Surigao cement firm to pay P1.1 billion to workers, creditors

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 7 Dec) – Pacific Cement Company (PACEMCO) based in this city is set to pay within the first quarter next year P1.1-billion worth of liabilities to all its workers and creditors.

Edwin Batac, chairman of the PACEMCO Mamumuong Nagkahiusa (PAMANA), said this was revealed during the final meeting with PACEMCO’s creditors and employees held in Mactan Island in Cebu last week.

Aside from PAMANA, the PACEMCO Supervisors Union was also present, represented by its president, Metodio Sembajon, and lawyer Jose Begil Jr.

Batac said all creditors will be paid of all its claims except interest and surcharges. “All employees will be paid first at 100 percent of their benefits, he added. Payment will reportedly start on January 1, and not later than March 31.

Alfonso Casurra, PACEMCO’s lawyer, acknowledged this was one of the highlights during the meeting in Cebu.

He said subsidiary firms of San Miguel Corporation – East Star Sea Cement Inc. and E Nuvate Holdings Ltd Inc. – will take over for the rehabilitation of PACEMCO.

He said workers will be paid at least P400 million.

Casurra said the time frame is clear, but added that some 18 creditors are not yet recognized.

“Those recognized claims as reflected in the final registry of claims as of November 17, 2015 will be paid together with the employees,” he said.

On December last year, PACEMCO filed for corporate rehabilitation before the Regional Trial Court in Surigao City to settle its financial obligation to all its creditors.

The cement company halted operations on May 5, 2014 after the Surigao del Norte Electric Cooperative cut its power supply for unsettled obligations worth at least P25 million.

Since then, PACEMCO has never been able to resume its operations.

Batac said a total of 343 employees were affected by the mismanagement and alleged corruption within the company that led to its bankruptcy.

The sole cement company in the Caraga Region, PACEMCO is the only remaining Filipino-owned and controlled cement company in the country. It started commercial operations in 1967.

The company had an average production of 500,000 to 700,000 bags of cement per month.