PPP executive sees sluggish infrastructure development
Posted by: Admin (source: bworldonline.com)
Date Posted: 2015-06-15
June 13 –MANILA (BusinessWorld) THE dearth in infrastructure development will remain in the next few years, a senior state official lamented, but, by the way the government’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Program is moving, it seems that hope is just a few more blocks away.
Metro Manila and other urban centers have been experiencing traffic congestion of all sorts: from land and air, to sea and rail transports.
While this is a clear sign of economic expansion, it also is a deterrent to growth itself. The solution, PPP Center Executive Director Cosette V. Canilao said, lies in two things: government financing and private-sector participation.
“The dearth in infrastructure will remain in the next few years. It can be eliminated by government financing or asking the private sector to participate,” she said.
Indeed, the government is moving to increase its spending in infrastructure for this year and beyond, and it is attracting business groups to invest in the state’s key infrastructure thrust
“In terms of an enhanced, improved, or attractive environment for private-sector participation, we’ve done our homework,” Canilao said.
The government is expected to net some P64 billion from the PPP Program, owing to the premium bids offered by the private sector to win projects.
The sum is almost double the total revenue last year, after Metro Pacific Investments Corp. submitted a P27.3-billion offer to bag the Cavite-Laguna Expressway.
It is currently the highest single premium that the government has recevied from an auction.
Half of the 10 awarded projects were won by the private sector by offering premium rates.
“We hope that PPP program will be sustainable beyond this administration,” Canilao said. “We are currently in the process of institutionalizing the reforms in each implementing agency.”
In addition, the government is currently pushing for the passage of the PPP Act, the amendment of the build-operate-transfer law, which is the cornerstone of the infrastructure program.
When enacted, the PPP Act will institutionalize the Project Development and Monitoring Facility, the PPP Governing Board and the contingent liability fund. The proposed amendments include the separation of regulatory and commercial functions of government-owned and -controlled corporations and create a list of projects called “Projects of National Significance.”
By virtue of being included on the list of projects of national significance, projects will be “insulated” from local laws, among others, by local governments.
The proposed amendments also include allowing time-bound temporary restraining order and the extension of the period for Swiss Challenge to six months from the current two-month period.
The amendments are expected to be approved within the term of President Aquino.
By Lorenz S. Marasigan