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2014 a banner year for air transport

Manila Standard Today, 18 December 2014
By Alena Mae S. Flores
The Transportation Department said 2014 was a banner year for the air transport sector.

Energy Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said “2014 has been decorated with noteworthy achievements in our aviation sector.”

“From getting the nods of the US FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] and the European Union, to the start of full operations at Naia [Ninoy Aquino International Airport] 3 and the notable improvements at Naia 1, we are proud to say that it has been a good year for air transportation,” Abaya said.

“We look forward to more airport accomplishments in 2015, but we will give special attention to much-needed upgrades for land transportation next year, especially for our rail lines,” he said.

The department started the Naia terminal 1 rehabilitation project at a cost of P1.3 billion to ensure the building’s structural integrity.

Terminal 1 was rated as one of the world’s worst airports in past years, but with 40 percent completion of its structural rehabilitation and its mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, and architectural works this month, passenger experience at the terminal has been noticeably increased, the agency said.

The Naia 1 rehabilitation project will be 95-percent complete by the end of February 2015, with some finishing works not affecting passenger areas to be completed by May.

FAA upgraded the country’s aviation rating from Category 2 to Category 1 while the European Union lifted the ban against Philippine aircrafts operating in their continent.

Abaya said the landmark achievements spearheaded by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines indicated the country’s aviation safety standards had met international criteria and paved the way for the mounting of more Philippine-US and Philippine-Europe flights.

The Transportation Department awarded its first airport public-private partnership project, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, in April. The project entails the construction of a new world-class international terminal by 2018 and the refurbishment of the existing terminal building by 2019.

The 25-year concession was bagged by the GMR-Megawide consortium, which bid to undertake the project with a premium payment of P 14.4 billion in favor of the government.

The consortium formally took over operations at MCIA in November and promised to launch immediate service improvements within its first three months of management.

The transport agency also awarded the design-and-build contract for the Puerto Princesa International Airport, another major destination for foreign tourists.

BatMan 1 gas pipeline route, cost known by early 2015

Business World, 17 December 2014
By Claire-Ann M.C. Feliciano
THE FEASIBILITY study for the proposed Batangas-Manila (BatMan 1) natural gas pipeline may be completed early next year, with a preliminary draft due for presentation this month giving an indication of the route and preliminary cost estimates, an official from the Energy department said.

Undersecretary Zenaida Y. Monsada said in a recent interview that the study funded by the Project Development and Monitoring Facility (PDMF) of the public-private partnership (PPP) Center is nearing completion.

“The draft of the study will be presented to PNOC (Philippine National Oil Co.) this month for exchange of comments. It will be finalized by the first quarter of next year,” Ms. Monsada told BusinessWorld.

The BatMan 1 natural gas project involves the construction of a 105-kilometer transmission pipeline that will transport and supply natural gas to targeted markets located along its route from Batangas, Laguna and Cavite, and eventually to Metro Manila.

This is part of the state-run PNOC’s aim to develop the country’s natural gas industry and reduce its dependence on imported fuels.

Ms. Monsada said the ongoing study will determine the actual cost of the project, the route of the pipeline, as well as a demand analysis that would identify the potential off-takers of natural gas that will pass through the project.

“The study will also detail how PNOC should go about it,” she said.

She said the project can either fall under the government’s PPP program or under the Official Development Assistance (ODA) Act of 1996.

According to the law, ODA is a “loan or a grant administered with the objective of promoting sustainable social and economic development and welfare of the Philippines.”

The law provides that the ODA “must be contracted with governments of foreign countries with whom the Philippines has diplomatic, trade relations or bilateral agreements or which are members of the United Nations, their agencies and international or multilateral lending institutions.”

Ms. Monsada said the timeline of the project implementation will vary depending on the choice of the PPP or ODA route.

Either way, the Energy department hopes to ground break for the project by 2016.

“We want to start by early 2016. But we have to consider the entire process, which will include detailed engineering and design,” Ms. Monsada said.

“There will also be a lot of permits to secure and paperwork so that will also take time,” she added.

PNOC last April tapped Dutch firm Rebel Group International BV as the transaction advisor for the project.

Energy Undersecretary Donato D. Marcos, for his part, said the department wants this project to be under the government’s flagship PPP program.

“We really want it to be under the PPP because this is a relevant infrastructure project for the natural gas sector,” Mr. Marcos told BusinessWorld separately.

Last May, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L Petilla said that upon completion of feasibility study, PNOC would need at least four months to draft the terms of reference for the auction.

The PDMF board in January 2012 approved the inclusion of the BatMan project, along with three other infrastructure projects to receive technical assistance from the PDMF.

The other projects were identified as the Plaridel Bypass Toll Road under the Department of Public Works and Highways; the Manila-Makati-Pasay-Parañaque Mass Transit System under the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC); and the Philippine National Railways North and South Lines Development and Extension, also under the DoTC.

According to the PPP Center’s Web site, implementing agencies of projects apply to the PDMF board for technical assistance regarding pre-investment activities, including preparation of project pre-feasibility studies, feasibility studies and financial models, development of PPP options, project structuring, providing transaction advisory services during the bidding process and preparation of contract documents.

The assistance aims to help agencies draft PPP proposals for submission to the National Economic and development Authority (NEDA)-Investment Coordination Committee (ICC), the first step in an approval process that includes concerned local government units, the ICC Technical Board, ICC Cabinet Committee and the NEDA Board.

ASEAN promotes public-private partnership

Vietnam Plus, 18 December 2014
The ASEAN Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Networking Forum was held in Manila , the Philippines on December 16-17 to discuss PPP as an innovative financing mechanism to realise the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC), according to the ASEAN Secretariat’s press release.

The forum brought together senior officials and experts from various agencies in the ten member countries, international financial organisations and development partners.

They shared experience, discussed proposed PPP guidelines and explored strategies to attract the private sector’s investment in infrastructure in the region.

In addition, they also touched upon issues related to mobilising resources for MPAC through PPP, countries’ experience on PPP, proposed ASEAN PPP Guidelines/Principles, and creating a more conducive environment to PPP at the regional, national and local government levels.

The forum was organised by the Philippine Permanent Mission to ASEAN with support from the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee (ACCC), the Office of ASEAN Affairs of the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and the PPP Center of the Philippines . It was supported by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the EU (ARISE).-VNA

Asean Moves Forward With Public-Private Partnership

Bernama, 18 December 2014
BANGKOK, Dec 18 (Bernama) — The Asean Connectivity Coordinating Committee (ACCC) convened the Asean Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Networking Forum from Dec 16-17 in Manila.

The forum was to discuss the PPP as an innovative financing mechanism to realise the Master Plan on Asean Connectivity (MPAC), according to a statement released by the Asean Secretariat.

“It brought together senior officials and experts from various agencies, international financing institutions, development partners and the private sector to share their PPP experience, discuss proposed PPP guidelines, and explore strategies to attract the private sector to invest in infrastructure in the region.

“They discussed issues related to mobilising resources for MPAC through the PPP, countries’ experiences on it, the proposed Asean PPP Guidelines/Principles, and creating a more conducive environment to the PPP at the regional, national and local government levels,” the secretariat added.

The Asean Secretariat highlighted that the need to develop a pipeline of properly prepared projects and enhance the public sector capacity in project preparation was emphasised at the forum.

“This could be derived through sharing of best practices, cooperation, collaboration, and mutually beneficial partnerships,” it said.

The forum was organised by the Philippine Permanent Mission to Asean with support from the ACCC, the Office of Asean Affairs of the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and the PPP Centre of the Philippines.

The event was supported by the Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asia (ERIA) and Asean Regional Integration Support from the EU (ARISE).


Nearly P700B worth of PPP projects up for ICC review this week

Manila Bulletin, 17 December 2014
Nearly P700 billion worth of public-private partnership (PPP) projects will be presented to Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) this week as part of the next wave of big-ticket PPP programs that will be bid out to the private sector next year.

Tomorrow, the ICC, which is a cluster of government agency officials including the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General, the Secretaries of finance, agriculture, trade and industry, budget and management, and the Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, will have to gather for a customary meeting.

The ICC evaluates the fiscal, monetary and balance of payments implications of the country’s major national projects and recommends to the President the timetable of their implementation on a regular basis.

“For this Friday, we are hoping to bring at least eight PPP projects to the ICC meeting,” PPP Center executive director Cosette Canilao told reporters on the sidelines of the ASEAN PPP Networking Forum held in Manila.

Canilao said these projects include the P19.3-billion Motor-Vehicle Inspection System.

“The DOTC [Department of Transport and Communication] has looked at another way of extending the terms for this project probably to make it viable to the private sector at the same time acceptable to the market,” Canilao said.

“So it’s a new parameter that has been open up and we have to present this to the cabinet committee before going back to the NEDA board,” she added.

The other projects that will be up for ICC review are the North-South Commuter Rail (P177 billion); the Metro System Transit Loop (P374.5 billion); the rebidding of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (P35.4 billion); the unsolicited proposal for the North Luzon Expressway – South Luzon Expressway connector paramaters (P25.6 billion); and the unsolicited proposal on the Philippine statistical analysis computer system or the Phase II of the Civil Registry System-IT Project (P1.2 billion).

The projects that were mentioned have a combined project cost of P633.2 billion, while there are still some additional projects that the PPP center is going to make a report on.

“We’re also finishing the [project on the] further extension of LRT [Light Rail Transit] line 1 and we’ve already started the re-development and operation maintenance of the NAIA [Ninoy Aquino International Airport],” Canilao said.

In the website of PPP, it was specified that the project cost for these projects are still ‘TBD’ or to be discussed. (MBM)

Two big rail projects for rollout in 2015, says PPP Center

Philippine Daily Inquirer, 16 December 2014
By Ben O. de Vera
MANILA, Philippines—Next year will see two “big” rail projects rolled out under the Aquino administration’s centerpiece public-private partnership initiative alongside the improvement of existing transportation systems.

PPP Center Executive Director Cosette V. Canilao told reporters Tuesday that the P176.7-billion North-South Commuter Railway and the P135-billion Mass Transit System Loop (MTSL) would be bid out by next year.

The “north to south” railway is being eyed to connect the northern and southern tips of Luzon Island via Metro Manila, although the initial leg would stretch only from the Tutuban station in Manila up to Legazpi City in Albay. The MTSL, meanwhile, would facilitate faster travel by train between the central business districts of Bonifacio Global City, Makati and the commercial areas along Manila Bay.

These two proposed railway projects are among the eight upcoming PPP projects expected to be taken up at a meeting of the National Economic and Development Authority’s Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) tentatively scheduled on Friday, Canilao disclosed.

Other projects up for discussion include the P19.3-billion motor vehicle inspection system, which Canilao said would have “new parameters that are more viable to the private sector and acceptable to the market”; the computer system for the country’s statistics database; and also, the rebidding of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (Calax).

Despite the controversies surrounding the Calax bidding, many investors remain interested in PPP projects, Canilao said, citing the high interest in the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike project.

Also, Canilao said, the other priority PPP initiatives to be undertaken next year are aimed at improving transport infrastructure, such as the Ninoy Aquino International and Clark airports, as well as the extension of Line 1 of the Light Rail Transit.

Neda Director-General and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said the Neda Board headed by the President would likely be convened after the Papal visit in January to grant the go-signal to the PPP projects in the pipeline.

8 more PPP projects worth at least P633.2B up for approval – PPP Center

GMA News, 16 December 2014
By Danessa O. Rivera
At least eight projects worth over half a trillion pesos under the public-private partnership (PPP) program are up for inter-agency before the end of the year and for final green-lighting by President Benigno Aquino III.

“We are hoping to bring at least eight PPP projects,” PPP Center executive director Cosette Canilao told reporters on a sidelines briefing during the ASEAN PPP Networking Forum in Manila.

The PPP Center is the state agency tasked to review the projects.

Canilao said the Inter-Agency Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) will meet Friday, December 19, for the following P633.21 billion worth of projects:

  • Motor Vehicle Inspection System (P19.33 billion)
  • North-South Commuter Railway (South Line) (P177.22 billion)
  • Makati-Pasay-Taguig Mass Transit System Loop (MTSL) Project (P374.5 billion)
  • The rebidding of Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) (P35.42 billion)
  • The unsolicited proposal on the NLEX-SLEX connector parameters (P25.6 billion)
  • The unsolicited proposal on the Civil Registry System-IT Project (Phase II) (P1.161 billion)

Canilao said the PPP Center is also finishing the further extension of LRT Line 1 to Dasmariñas and the redevelopment and operation maintenance of the Ninoy Aquino International Aiport (NAIA).

Both projects undergoing feasibility studies still have no indicative costs, according to the PPP Center website.

If the ICC-CabCom green-lights the projects, these would be up for the nod of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, chaired by President Aquino.

However, Canilao noted meeting with the NEDA Board may take place after the January 15 to 19 Papal visit.

“But I think, within the first half of next month, we could have one,” she said.

CALAX rebidding

In rebidding the CALAX project, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will have to secure new regulatory approvals. Last November, the President decided to rebid the project.

“It will be the ICC and NEDA board who will approve the new terms and conditions of the rebidding,” Canilao noted.

CALAX is a 47-kilometer, eight-interchange tollway that starts at the Cavite Expressway in Kawit and ends at the Mamplasan interchange of South Luzon Expressway in Biñan.

The project auctioned last June was won by Team Orion, a joint venture of Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc.

However, San Miguel Corp. subsidiary Optimal Infrastructure Development Inc. was disqualified due to a defective bid security and made an appeal to the Office of the President.

DOTC projects

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is again pushing for the Motor Vehicle Inspection System after new parameters have been introduced.

“The DOTC has looked at another way of extending probably to make it viable to the private sector at the same time acceptable to the market,” Canilao said.

“So it’s a new parameter that has been opened up and we have to present this to the Cabinet committee before going back to the NEDA board,” she added.

The project involves setting up Motor Vehicle Inspections Centers (MVIC) to test various categories of heavy duty, light duty and two wheeler vehicles, across the country.

Another project from the DOTC, the proposed North-South Commuter Railway South Line PPP, is the 653-kilometer train system covering Metro Manila to Legazpi City in Albay, plus a number of existing and proposed branch lines.

On the other hand, the Makati-Pasay-Taguig Mass Transit System Loop Project, will involve a 12-kilometer rail line connecting Bonifacio Global City, Makati Central Business District, and Mall of Asia area in Pasay City.

Launched in 2010, the Aquino administration’s centerpiece program, PPP initiative, aims to tap private sector funds for 57 infrastructure projects worth P852.13 billion. – VS GMA News

Towards an ASEAN PPP Agenda: An ASEAN PPP Networking Forum

18 December 2014


NEDA prepares P625-B PPP projects

The Philippine Star, 17 December 2014
By Lawrence Agcaoili
MANILA, Philippines – The National Economic and Development Authority – Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC) is set to discuss on Friday eight public private partnership (PPP) projects worth P625 billion including the rebidding of the Cavite – Laguna expressway (Calax) and the Swiss challenge for the North Luzon and South Luzon Expressway connector road.

PPP Center executive director Cosette Canilao told a press conference on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) PPP Networking Forum that NEDA-ICC is scheduled to discuss the rebidding of the P35.4 billion Calax as well as the Swiss challenge for the P18 billion NLEX-SLEX connector road.

Canilao said the NEDA-ICC would have to discuss the terms of the rebidding of the Calax, primarily the P20.1-billion floor price set by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

President Aquino ordered the rebidding of Calax after San Miguel Corp. (SMC) filed an appeal before Malacañang questioning the disqualification of Optimal Infrastructure Development Inc. from the bidding last June.

Team Orion, a 50-50 joint venture between Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz Land Inc., has expressed disappointment over the decision. It submitted the highest bid of P11.659 billion.

“The recent challenge that we faced in Calax only shows that we need to improve our structure and our framework. But nonetheless, the private investors understand that,” Canilao said.

According to Canilao, a total of 24 companies have expressed interest in the P123 billion Laguna Lakeshore expressway dike (LLED) project despite the controversy involving the bidding of Calax.

Likewise, the NEDA-ICC is also scheduled to discuss on the best option on how to undertake the much-delayed NLEX-SLEX connector road of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC).

MPIC’s Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp. (MPTDC) wants to pursue the joint venture with state-run Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC) but the Department of Justice (DOJ) is recommending a Swiss challenge for the unsolicited proposal.

Other PPP projects to be discussed by the NEDA-ICC are the P374.5-billion Mass Transit System Loop or subway system connecting the central business districts in Makati, Taguig, and Pasay; P177.2 billion North – South Railway project from Metro Manila to Legazpi City in Albay; the P19.33-billion Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS); and the P1.16 billion Civil Registry System – Information Technology project (Phase 2).

Also calendared for discussion is the proposed 15-kilometer extension of the Light Rail Transit line 1 (LRT-1) from the proposed end in Bacoor all the way to Dasmarinas in Cavite as well as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) development project.

Canilao said the NEDA-ICC meeting this Friday would be followed by the NEDA Board meeting to be headed by President Aquino in the middle of January after the visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines.

The Philippines is currently hosting the first ASEAN Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Networking Forum gathering members of the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee (ACCC), national coordinators, PPP focal points and officials responsible for infrastructure projects from the ten ASEAN Member States.

The forum provides ASEAN member countries the opportunity to exchange information and share experiences about their PPP programs, establish a network of PPP units among ASEAN member countries and pitch their PPP projects to prospective investors, financing institutions, and development partners.

It will also tackle the proposed ASEAN Guidelines/Principles on PPP to harmonize policy, institutional, and regulatory frameworks of the AMS and enhance the economic integration competitiveness of the region.

CALAX, other PPP projects up for approval

Business World, 16 December 2014
By Chrisee Jalyssa V. Dela Paz
THE NEW TERMS for the contract to build and operate the 47.018-kilometer Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) for P35.42 billion under the government’s public-private partnership (PPP) program — along with seven other PPP deals — could be approved this Friday by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)-Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom), officials said yesterday.

PPP Center Executive Director Cosette V. Canilao told reporters during a media conference of the ASEAN PPP Forum at Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City that rebidding of CALAX “will have to secure new regulatory approvals as the terms were changed.”

“It will be the NEDA-ICC-CabCom and the Board which will approve the new terms of the rebidding, then we will forward it to the Office of the President,” she explained when asked what approvals are needed to move forward with the new project auction.

This was after Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio L. Singson was quoted by a PPP Center statement earlier this month as saying that the new auction will require a minimum bid of P20.1 billion — the top premium San Miguel Corp.’s Optimal Infrastructure Development, Inc. offered to pay besides project cost in the scuttled first tender — and that it “will undergo a shorter one-stage bidding process where both technical and financial bids will be opened simultaneously.”

This development comes in the wake of the expiry last Dec. 10 of a 15-day period within which the highest compliant bidder — Team Orion of Ayala Corp.’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc.’s Aboitiz Land, Inc. — was allowed to file an appeal against Malacañang’s order for rebidding late last month. Ariel C. Angeles, director of Public-Private Partnership Service of the Public Works and Highways department, confirmed via phone interview on Tuesday: “We didn’t receive any appeal from Team Orion so we moved forward with the rebidding.”

CALAX is a 47-kilometer, eight-interchange tollway that will run between Cavite Expressway’s Kawit, Cavite end and South Luzon Expressway-Mamplasan interchange in Biñan, Laguna.

The first CALAX auction last June ended in controversy after Optimal Infrastructure — which offered the highest premium — was disqualified on a technicality involving its bid security.

That left Team Orion — with a much smaller offered premium of P11.66 billion — as being deemed the highest compliant bidder. The other two bidders were Metro Pacific Investments Corp.-led MPCALA Holdings, Inc. which offered an P11.33-billion premium and MTD Philippines, Inc. which offered P922 million. Optimal Infrastructure sought Malacañang’s intervention later in June. The Palace ordered DPWH on Nov. 19 to hold a new auction.

Of the four original bidders, only MPCALA and Optimal Infrastructure have renewed their bid bond, which guarantees that bidders have the financial muscle to carry out the project.

The department aims to publish a new invitation to bid this month and set submission and opening of bids in May next year.

Other projects up for discussion at the Dec. 19 NEDA-ICC-CabCom meeting are the: P19.33-billion Motor Vehicle Inspection System; P177.22-billion North-South Railway Project (South Line); P374.5-billion Makati-Pasay-Taguig Mass Transit System Loop; Light Rail Transit Line 1 Extension to Dasmariñas Project; Ninoy Aquino International Airport Development Project; the joint venture for the P25.6-billion North Luzon Expressway-South Luzon Expressway Connector Road; and the P1.16-billion Civil Registry System-IT Project (Phase II).