The Philippine Economic Zone Authority said it is in talks with the local government of Iligan City to revive the Philippine National Steel plant and restart the local integrated steel industry.
Peza director-general Charito Plaza said the agency had serious negotiations with Iligan City, which hosts the steel company, over the back taxes the company must settle with the LGU.
“We also talked with the banks and the previous operator. We wanted so badly to have an integrated steel sector to the point that we may be brokering the revival of National Steel,” Plaza said over the weekend.
Plaza said Peza would also negotiate the possible repackaging of the back taxes and bank loans to make the company more attractive to investors.
“We cannot attract new investors if they are to take on all the outstanding loans. We proposed to the LGU of Iligan that they can be a stakeholder in the company, with the tax collectibles as their equity,” she said.
Peza also asked related sectors to give National Steel a chance to be “restored back since this is an important step to industrialization.” Several groups also asked Peza to continue brokering for the revival of the company.
Real estate taxes owed by the mothballed facility ballooned to as high as P4 billion.
Presidential adviser for economic affairs Ramon Jacinto said earlier the reconstruction of the steel facility could cost about $3 billion for a 3-million metric ton plant.
Jacinto’s family previously owned National Steel before the government took over its operations.
The original facility could produce 1 million MT of long steel bars and other steel products annually.