Source:  Business World

THE GOVERNMENT has noted anew interest by Chinese firms to participate in priority infrastructure projects lined up under the government’s public-private partnership (PPP) program.

Representatives of some companies under the China International Contractors Association, which is said to have 1,300 members from that country’s international contracting and labor sectors, were “very interested” in such projects, PPP Center Deputy Executive Director Cosette V. Canilao said in a press statement yesterday.

The statement said Public Works Secretary Rogelio L. Singson led a Philippine delegation that participated in the 2nd International Infrastructure Investment and Construction Forum held last May 26-27 in Beijing.

“We had the opportunity to present to forum participants and other foreign delegates this administration’s PPP program and the various PPP projects that we are currently undertaking. The Philippine delegation underscored the areas of cooperation and where investments can actually be used,” Ms. Canilao said in the statement.

Representatives of Chinese and Canadian companies reportedly sought further consultations on the priority infrastructure.

Chinese Vice-Minister of Commerce Chen Jian also met separately with the Philippine delegation. He reiterated the need to strengthen international cooperation, especially between governments, in infrastructure investment opportunities.

Mr. Jian particularly identified the integration of the Philippine transportation system as one of the PPP thrusts that interests China.

This is the second time this year that Philippine PPP projects were promoted in China, the world’s second largest economy. Last month, government officials, led by Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima, visited Beijing and Shanghai to meet with representatives of about two dozen state-owned and private enterprises.

Mr. Purisima had said earlier that the Philippine delegation assured Chinese investors of transparency in PPP deals.

The government is scheduled to roll out as many as 12 PPP deals this year.

Investors have already been invited to express their interest in bidding for the P15-billion four- to five-year maintenance and operation contracts for the Light Rail Transit Line 1 and the Metro Rail Transit Line 3. The deadline for bid proposals is set on July 11.

The government also hopes this month to formally invite bidders for the P1.6-billion Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway link, the P10.59-billion Ninoy Aquino International Airport expressway and the P21-billion North Luzon-South Luzon expressway link.

Indicative months have also been identified for inviting parties interested in seven other projects, namely: the P70-billion Light Rail Transit Line 1 south extension project in August, the P4.4-billion Puerto Princesa airport development project in September; the P7.6-billion Bohol airport development, P3.2-billion new Legaspi (Daraga) airport development and the P1.5-billion privatization of the Laguindingan airport in October; the P11.3-billion LRT Line 2 east extension project in November and the P10.5-billion CALA expressway extension in December. — D. C. J. Jiao


Published on May 31, 2011