PPP Executive Director Cosette Canilao did a live interview regarding the issues on ongoing projects in the pipeline on Solar Nightly News with Mitzi Borromeo last August 8, 2014.
Video Courtesy of Solar News (frame 28.37)
Rappler, 06 August 2014
Two of the biggest PPP projects to be launched are the P265-billion North-South commuter rail and the P132-billion mass transit loop.
MANILA, Philippines â The Aquino administration is set to roll out 18 major infrastructure projects worth P602.2 billion ($13.83 billion*) under the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme before June next year.
The 18 projects to be rolled out are part of the inventory of 47 PPP projects in the pipeline, PPP Center executive director Cosette Canilao said during the quarterly roundtable of The Wallace Business Forum.
âThis is the product of about two years of streamlining processes, of establishing interaction between various government agencies, including capacities not only in the public sector, but increasing the appreciation of the private sector of PPP projects,â Canilao said.
Two of the biggest projects to be rolled out are the North-South commuter rail worth P265.3 billion ($6.09 billion) and the proposed subway system Mass Transit loop worth P132 billion ($3.03 billion). They will be rolled out in November and December, respectively.
To be launched in September are airport operation and maintenance PPP projects, including:
Other projects to be launched include the Regional Prison Facilities worth P39.4 billion ($904.77 million), the Motor Vehicle Inspection System worth P18.9 billion ($434.02 million), and the Tanauan City public market worth P381.2 million ($8.75 million).
Meanwhile, the government has yet to determine the cost of several projects such as the San Fernando Airport, the Batangas-Manila natural gas pipeline, the Manila Bay-Pasig Ferry-Laguna lake ferry, and the proposed extension of the Light Rail Transit line 1 (LRT 1) all the way to DasmariĂ±as in Cavite instead of only Bacoor City under theÂ P65-billion ($1.49 billion) LRT 1 Cavite extension project.
PPPs in full swing
After a slow start in 2010, Canilao said the PPP program is now in full swing after the award of 7 projects worth close to P62.6 billion ($1.44 billion). These projects are:
âThis is also a product of further refining the legal and regulatory framework,â Canilao explained.
She pointed out that the government is also set to award the concession contracts for theLRT1 Cavite extension projectÂ as well as theÂ P35.4-billion (4812.47 million) Cavite-Laguna expressway projectÂ under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
The award of both projects are subject of cases filed at the Supreme Court and the Office of the President.
There are also 4 projects under procurement: theÂ biggest PPP project to date, the P123-billion ($2.82 billion) Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Project;Â the P4 billion ($91.8 million) Integrated Transport System (ITS) – South terminal; the P2.5 billion ITS-Southwest terminal ($57.38 million), and the Bulacan Bulk Water supply project.
Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said it is high priority to ensure that the government conduct a fair and open competition for the projects, and abide by the Aquino administrationâs code of good governance.
âIt was very clear from theÂ Presidentâs State of the Nation AddressÂ that we have beenmaking great strides in generating investments and building infrastructureÂ to benefit the country. Now that weâve entered the last third of the Presidentâs term, itâs timely that we assess what can be realistically done over the next two years,â Abaya said.
Abaya said the biggest project to be undertaken by the DOTC is the construction of theÂ new Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) worth P436 billion ($10.01 billion) in Sangley PointÂ as proposed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Other projects include the P3.8-billion ($87.23 million) Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT 3) capacity expansion project, involving the acquisition of 48 brand new trains; the P25.6 billion ($587.63 million) Metro Manila Skyway stage 3 project of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corporation; and the proposed P18-billion ($413.18 million) connector road of infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corporation.
The Aquino administration intends toÂ wipe out the backlog in transportation infrastructureÂ in the Philippines over the next 5 to 10 years. âÂ Rappler.com
*($1 = P43.57)
ABS-CBN, 05 August 2014
MANILA, Philippines – Eighteen major infrastructure projects worth P602.2 billion under the public private partnership (PPP) program will be rolled out by the Aquino administration before June 2015.
Cosette Canilao, PPP Center executive director, said these projects are part of the 47 PPP projects in the pipeline.
“This is product of about two years of streamlining processes of establishing interaction between various government agencies including capacities not only in the public sector but increasing the appreciation of the private sector on PPP projects,” she said.
The biggest project is the P265.3 billion-North-South commuter rail project, which will be launched in November.
The P132 billion proposed subway system Mass Transit loop will be launched in December.
Several airport operation and maintenance projects will be launched in September, namely the P39.7 billion Davao Airport, P29.7 billion Iloilo Airport, P19.8-billion Bacolod Airport, P14.3 billion Laguindingan Airport, P5.01 billion Puerto Princesa airport and the P2.28 billion new Bohol (Panglao) Airport.
Other projects to be launched are the P39.4 billion Regional Prison Faciities, P18.9 billion Motor Vehicle Inspection System and P381.2 million Tanauan City public market.
Several projects such as the San Fernando Airport, the Batangas-Manila natural gas pipeline, the Manila Bay-Pasig Ferry-Laguna lake ferry and the proposed extension of the LRT-1 to Dasmarinas, Cavite, are also being proposed, although the project costs are still being determined.
Canilao said the roll out of PPP projects is in full swing, with the award of seven PPP projects worth P68 billion since 2010.
“This is also a product of further refining the legal and regulatory framework,” she said.
The government is also also set to award the P65 billion LRT 1 Cavite extension project as and P35.4 billion Cavite-Laguna expressway project. However, the awarding of the projects faces delays due to legal issues raised by other bidders.
Four projects are now under procurement, including the P123 billion Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Project, the P4 billion Integrated Transport System (ITS) South terminal, the P2.5 billion ITS Southwest terminal and the Bulacan Bulk Water supply project.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said it is the government’s top priority to conduct fair and open bidding for teh projects.
“It was very clear from the Presidentâs State of the Nation Address that we have been making great strides in generating investments and building infrastructure to benefit the country. Now that weâve entered the last third of the Presidentâs term, itâs timely that we assess what can be realistically done over the next two years,” Abaya said.
For the DOTC, the biggest project to be undertaken is the new airport at Sangley Point, Cavite, as proposed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Other PPP projects under the DOTC include P3.8 billion Metro Rail Transit line 3 capacity expansion project, the P25.6 billion Metro Manila Skyway stage 3 being undertaken by San Miguel, and the P18 billion connector road of Metro Pacific Investments Corp.
Philippine Star, Â 06 August 2014
MANILA, Philippines – The Aquino administration is set to roll out 18 major infrastructure projects worth P602.2 billion under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) program before June next year.
PPP Center executive secretary Cosette Canilao said during the Quarterly Roundtable of The Wallace Business Forum that the 18 projects are part of the inventory of 47 PPP projects already in the pipeline.
âThis is product of about two years of streamlining processes of establishing interaction between various government agencies including capacities not only in the public sector but increasing the appreciation of the private sector on PPP projects,â Canilao said.
Two of the biggest projects to be rolled out include the North-South commuter rail worth P265.3 billion to be launched in November and the proposed subway system Mass Transit loop worth P132 billion to be launched in December.
Airport operation and maintenance PPP projects to be launched next month include the Davao Airport worth P39.7 billion, Iloilo Airport worth P29.7 billion, Bacolod Airport P19.8 billion, Laguindingan Airport worth P14.3 billion, Puerto Princesa airport worth P5.01 billion, and the new Bohol (Panglao) Airport worth P2.28 billion
Other projects to be launched include the Regional Prison Facilities through PPP worth P39.4 billion, the Motor Vehicle Inspection System worth P18.9 billion and the Tanauan City public market, P381.2 million.
After a slow start in 2010, Canilao said the roll out is in full swing after the award of seven PPP projects worth close to P68 billion including the Daang Hari â South Luzon expressway link road (P2 billion), PPP for School Infrastructure Project phase 1 (P8.86 billion), the PSIP-2 (P16.28 billion), the modernization project for the Philippine Orthopedic Center (P5.98 billion), the Ninoy Aquino International Airport expressway (P15.52 billion), the automated fare collection system project (P1.72 billion), and the Mactan â Cebu international airport expansion project (P17.5 billion).
âThis is also a product of further refining the legal and regulatory framework,â she said.
According to Canilao, the government is also set to award the concession contracts for the P65 billion LRT1 Cavite extension project as well as the P35.4 billion Cavite-Laguna expressway project under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
The awarding of both projects are being contested at the Supreme Court as well as the Office of the President.
She added that there are four projects under procurement including the P123 billion Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Project, the P4 billion Integrated Transport System (ITS) â South terminal, the P2.5 billion ITS-Southwest terminal, and the P24.4 billion Bulacan Bulk Water supply project.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said it is a high priority to ensure that the government conduct a fair, open competition for the projects and abide by the Aquino administrationâs code of good governance.
âIt was very clear from the Presidentâs State of the Nation Address that we have been making great strides in generating investments and building infrastructure to benefit the country. Now that weâve entered the last third of the Presidentâs term, itâs timely that we assess what can be realistically done over the next two years,â he said.
03 June 2014
Representatives from 13 private and government organizations expressed support for the P17.5 Billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport new passenger terminal building project to be implemented under a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement.
These stakeholders sealed their commitment of support during the projectâs ceremonial signing last 30 May 2014 at the Waterfront Hotel & Casino in Mactan, Cebu. The signing was led by the projectâs private proponent GMR-Megawide Airport Corporation (GMCA) together with the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA).
PPP Center Executive Director Cosette V. Canilao, in her speech during the signing, expressed that the MCIA projectâs success âsends a very clear signal to our investors that if you do business in the Philippines, you are certain to get a fair and square deal.â
Aside from the PPP Center, other government agencies present to support to project were the Cebu Provincial Government, Lapu-Lapu City Government, Department of Finance, Department of Tourism, Bureau of Customs, and Bureau of Immigration. Cebu-based private organizations that included the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Mactan Airline Operatorsâ Association, and the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Cebu were also present to express support to the project.
GMCA, the company created by the winning consortium to undertake the project under the PPP Agreement, vowed to transform the existing Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) facility into the worldâs first âResort-Airportâ and make it the second largest gateway to the Philippines by 2017. GMCA will take over the MCIA by October 2014 and start on the airportâs proposed upgrades.
The new airport will have separate international and domestic terminals linked by a bridge to facilitate ease of movement for connecting flights. Adequate parking facilities and aircraft parking stands served by bus transfers will be in place.
The upgraded airport will have more spacious check-in area with additional counters and enhanced automated baggage handling systems and will feature conveniently located airlines lounges, retail and food shops. It will have an adjoining “village mall” complex.
The company is currently talking to world-renowned Cebu designer Kenneth Cobonpue for the airportâs interiors.
âInternational and Cebuano designers are working together on this expansion because we want the new airport to reflect the rich Cebuano heritage while it exudes a modern yet soothing resort feel,â said GMCA President Louie Ferrer.
âBy 2017 when the project is completed, we would like the Mactan-Cebu International Airport to be something that Cebuanos can call their own and which all Filipinos can be truly proud of,â added Ferrer.
The MCIA project of the DOTC is the seventh project to be awarded under the flagship PPP program of the Aquino Administration. It is also the countryâs first airport PPP project awarded.
GMR-Megawide Consortium was awarded the MCIA project last April 4 after submitting the best bid offering the highest premium of P14.404 billion to government in December 2013. After fulfilling all the post-award requirements including the turnover of the upfront payment, DOTC and GMR-Megawide officially signed the airportâs 25-year concession agreement in April 22.
The MCIA project is set to modernize the current airport in Cebu with the construction of an international passenger terminal building at the same time expanding the existing passenger terminal. The modernization of the MCIA will address the growing influx of passengers.
GMA News, 29 November 2013
Healthy fiscal space and an accommodating financing environment allow elbow room to fund reconstruction.
Inquirer, 27 October 2013
PPP Center exec says other projects in the pipeline to go full blast
At least five major infrastructure projects will be completed under the public-private partnership (PPP) framework and several others likely to be in full blast of construction before President Aquino steps down from office in 2016, the chief of the governmentâs PPP Center said.
Speaking during the 8th Philippine Forum organized by The Asset Magazine and the Fund Managers Association of the Philippines (FMAP) last week, PPP Center executive director Cosette Canilao said the five projects likely to be completed during this administration were Daang Hari tollroad, School Infrastructure project phases one and two, the modernization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center and the Naia Expressway.
Speaking to reporters after the forum, Canilao said itâs also possible to complete the integrated transport fare collection system within Mr. Aquinoâs term. âOnce this project is approved and rolled out, itâs possible that this will be completed. Itâs not too complicated,â she said.
For his part, Transportation Undersecretary Rene Limcaoco said most of the infrastructure projects under his departmentâs pipeline would likely take off, not just those to be bid out under the PPP framework but likewise those that would be undertaken by the government itself.
Canilao said the following projects would be at the height of construction within Mr. Aquinoâs term: Light Railway Transit Line 1 extension, Mactan-Cebu International airport upgrading.
By year 2015, she said most of the big-ticket projects would be in full blast of construction while 2014 would, for some, be the year to raise funds.
Canilao is expecting the rollout of the PPP projects to be faster in these last three years of the Aquino administration, noting that âlessonsâ had been learned from the first half of the Presidentâs term.
âWeâve done already the setting down of the processes. Weâre still improving it but the foundation is already there. During the remainder of the term, hopefully it will be faster. Weâre looking at standardizing some of the bid documents so that the bidders, once they receive the drafts, they know what to expect,â Canilao said.
During the forum, when asked by The Asset editor-in-chief Daniel Yu to assess the performance of the governmentâs PPP program in the first three years, Canilao gave a score of six out of the highest possible score of 10. On rating his departmentâs infrastructure program, Limcaoco gave a rating of five out of 10.
Canilao said the government was likewise working to amend the build-operate-transfer law to boost the PPP program for the longer haul, no longer for the current pipeline.
âWe donât need it (for this term) but nonetheless, weâre rushing it, hoping that it will be passed by summer recess,â Canilao said.
She said among the most important provisions would be to identify and set parameters for projects of ânational significanceâ as well as to extend the mechanism for Swiss challenge, or the process of inviting counter-proposals to unsolicited projects.
Right now, rival bidders are given 60 days to make a counter offer. âWeâre hoping for at least six months,â she said.
At the same time, the amendments call for the creation of a PPP governing board and a legal framework for a PPP Center.
Flexibility is likewise sought on the contingent liability that the government can take in relation to projects in the pipeline, she said.
GMA News, 25 October 2013
Construction of 9,300 classrooms under the first phase of a public-private partnership (PPP) project of the Department of Education (DepEd) is likely to be completed by April next year, the top official of the state agency reviewing the flagship infrastructure program said Friday.
âThat’s the target and contractors are expected to deliver,â Cosette Canilao, executive director of the PPP Center, said in an ambush interview in Bulacan province.,
The PPP for School Infrastructure Project (PSIP) Phase 1 involves the design, construction, maintenance, and financing of 9,300 classrooms in one and two-story buildings in Regions I, III and IV-A.
The 10-year contract under a build-lease-and transfer agreement also includes furniture, fixtures and toilets for 2,204 public elementary and secondary school.
The construction contract was bagged last year by two consortia: BF Corporation-Riverbanks Development Corporation, and Citicore Holdings Investment Inc.-Megawide Construction Corporation.
In a separate interview, Louie Ferrer, Megawide vice-president for Marketing and chief information officer, said some of the constructed classrooms were already being used by recipient-pupils.
On Friday, Megawide turned over 500 newly-built classrooms in Region 3 and 4-A to Education Secretary Armin Luistro.
âWith the help of the private sector we are confident that we can deliver our commitment to public school students,â Luistro said.
According to the status report posted on the PPP website, construction of 3,200 classrooms has started, while notices to proceed for some 5,400 classrooms have been issued.
The PSIP was fielded in the PPP program two years ago to cut the public school system’s 66,800-classroom shortage as fast as possible.
Phase II of the PSIP â which aims to construct 10,679 more classrooms â was bagged by Megawide and Consortium of BSP & Co. Inc and Vicente T. Lao Construction this October.Â â DVM, GMA News
Business World, 24 October 2013
JUST FIVE public-private partnership (PPP) projects are expected to be completed by the end of Aquino administrationâs term, an official yesterday said, but the infrastructure program will continue after 2016 given the groundwork that is being laid.
âWe will finish Daang Hari. We will finish the two school projects. We will finish the hospital. We will finish the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) expressway … So we have five projects that will be finished in the remaining term of President [Benigno S. C.] Aquino [III],â PPP Center Executive Director Cosette V. Canilao yesterday told a capital markets forum.
â[The year] 2015 will be the height of construction for the projects that will be rolled out in the next few months, and whatâs more important to us is to leave a very successful program to the next administration…,â Ms. Canilao added.
Just four PPP projects have been awarded by the Aquino administration since it rolled out its centerpiece infrastructure program in late 2010. The P1.96-billion Daang Hari-South Luzon expressway project was the first, going to Ayala Corp. in 2011. The second, the P16.42-billion first phase of the PPP School Infrastructure Program (PSIP), was granted to two consortiums last year, while the P15.68-billion NAIA expressway and phase two of the PSIP were awarded this year.
The government is still reviewing the sole bid submitted for the P5.70-billion Philippine Orthopedic Center project.
Ronald L. Arambulo, executive director of the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines, said continuity was important to ensure the PPP programâs success.
âWhen … you leave, you have to make sure that the next batch wonât start from zero again,â Mr. Arambulo said.
Transportation Undersecretary Rene K. Limcaoco admitted that the government âcould have gone fasterâ in the implementation of some projects, but said the process involved a âlearning curve.â
âWe were starting off from scratch. When we came in, we had an empty cupboard and we basically had to start everything from scratch,â he said.
But Ms. Canilao said: âWeâre done already with setting the framework and the processes, although weâre still improving it … We already have a lot of learnings from the private sector and the government so for the remaining term, hopefully, it will be faster.â
The Aquino government has come under fire over the delays that have hit the PPP program. It has claimed that extensive reviews were needed to make projects foolproof, although recently prospective investors have complained of onerous contract terms.
GMA News, 22 October 2013
After the Aquino administration failed to bid out a rail rehabilitation jobâthe most expensive infrastructure project in the pipeline at P59.2-billionâthe government is scrambling to correct the doubts cast over its flagship public-private partnership (PPP) program.
Officials now acknowledge the need to shift to high gear by inserting changes in the rules and regulations concerning contracts, while the private sector waits the next invitation to bid on the Light Rail Transit Line 1 Rehabilitation project.
âWe have to do some structural changes on the PPP,â Cosette Canilao, executive director at the PPP Center, told GMA News Online in an interview at her office.
The decades-old Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law is a major problemâas pointed out by the private sectorâand a hindrance to the bidding process.
PPP Center wants to introduce new changes into the BOT implementing rules and regulations (IRR) by January 2014, just over a year after amended IRR was released.
âAn intermediate IRRâ will cut the tedious multi-agency approvals needed in changing draft concession agreements of PPP projects, while the actual law amendment eyed within the current Congress is still in the works, Canilao said.
Big-ticket projects can help sustain P850 billion worth of infrastructure developments annually, which the Asian Development Bank (ADB) considers a must for the Philippines to keep growing at seven percent, attract foreign direct investments, and alleviate poverty.
But without an intermediate IRR, the PPP program seems doomed to stagnate. Revisions to concession terms willâagainâhave to be approved by an inter-agency committee before it is forwarded to President Benigno Aquino III, who has the final say.
This tedious process of amendments and approvals is what is keeping the government from bidding out the rehabilitation works on Southeast Asia’s first light rail transit, called LRT 1.
Two months ago, bidding for the LRT 1 was stunted after government received a conditional and non-compliant bid from Metro Pacific Investments Corp., the lone bidder, who went for it without partner Ayala Corp.
Three other bidders, mainly high-profile conglomerate their their foreign partners, backed out the last minute, and pointed out the expected returnsâunder government’s own termsâwill not suffice in making up for the economic and political risks the project entails.
Lessons from the past?
In an e-mail to GMA News Online, Transportation Department spokesperson Michael Arthur Sagcal noted that coming up with the terms that are mutually acceptable to both government and prospective partners from the private sector is a great hurdle.
âOur main challenge is balancing the interest of both government and the private sector… Not wanting to leave behind a legacy of questionable projects, we are doing our best to make sure that public money is spent wisely, prudently, and in the best interest of the people,â Sagcal said.
How risks are spread is a common ground for disagreements hounding most PPP projects. In the end, concession agreements had to be revised stretching out the bidding time frame in the process.
The irony is that both the government and the private sector use the supposed lessons from past failed biddings in defending their respective positions on the matter, with the government arguing on the need for caution to avoid awarding contracts that would later be criticized as disadvantageous to the public.
Nightmares of âflawedâ undertakings like the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3) prompt government to view contracts under a microscope and sprinkle it with stringent performance indicators the private sector must meet, said a government officialâwho asked not to be named due to the controversy of the subjectâto GMA News Online.
A 2010 World Bank publication noted that in 1993, the Philippines accepted foreign exchange, demand, and revenue risks while guaranteeing a 15 percent return on equity for the MRT 3âa mass rail transit system that plys through the Metro Manila’s main thoroughfare, EDSA.
MRT 3, however, attracted lower-than-expected passengers and required billions of pesos in government subsidies. The latter had to be raised because petitions for higher fares were unapproved in the face of stiff public opposition.
The government is now mulling over a complete buy-back of the concession to avoid shelling out money for the subsidy.
Still, âa long list of historical contracts shown to have overly favored the private sector… should not be an excuse for their inability to reach positive deals with the private sector,â noted Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) economists Nicholas Antonio Mapa and Emilio Neri Jr. in an e-mail to GMA News Online.
In the case of LRT 1, government stood firm on its position that real property and income tax risks should be borne by the winning bidder. As a result, companies backed out to avoid getting caught in a financial squeeze.
In an ambush interview a week after the Aug. 15 LRT 1 bidding, which was declared a failure, Ayala Corp. managing director John Eric Francia shared his fears. âMy concern was the risk was real from where I sit,â he said.
The government has since agreed to shoulder some of the risks originally assigned to the private sector.
For what they were worth, such lessons from the past were part of the âbirth pains phase,â said Tala Fernando, managing director at BF Corp., part of the group of consortia that bagged the P16.28-billion contract to build 9,300 classrooms for the Department of Education under the PPP initiative.
âBoth the government and investors are trying to find comfort levels,â she noted in an e-mail, saying the disagreements with government over design and building methodology took time until these were ironed out before the project was finally awarded last year.
A major concern by the private sector is the uncertainty about whether or not future administrations would honor the contract. The fear stems from an ongoing international arbitration over the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 with a German contractor.
âThe private sector needs to be afforded a higher rate of return for possible changes in the rules of the game along the way,â Mapa and Neri said.
The economists noted the private sector needs âcompensation for the risk that contracts will not be honored every six yearsâ or when a new administration assumes office.
To address regulatory risks, including âany breachesâ by future administrations, the government has earmarked P30 billion in next year’s budget to set up a contingent liability fund, said PPP’s Canilao.
A separate fund for feasibility studies and manuals on processes will be drafted into the proposed amendments to the BOT Law that is now being reviewed by economic managers, she said, adding that an Executive-approved bill for consideration by the 16th Congress should be out in the summer of 2014.
âThe institutionalization is very important,â the PPP official noted.
Despite a history of âfailedâ contracts, the institutional problem seems odd as the current PPP flow is actually viewed as one of the best in the world.
âThe Philippines stands out very well in setting up a PPP standard,â ADB president Neeraj Jain said in a telephone interview. âYour ASEAN neighbors have long wanted to push for a standard PPP format and for a center handling PPPs. They have not achieved that much.â
Projects under Aquino’s PPP program took no more than 18 months to reach financial closure from when invitations to bid were released. This was on a par with Canada and Australia, and deemed faster than the 22-month minimum for the UK and India to seal a deal.
âI cannot say in a clear-cut manner that there are delays. Yes, expectations of both private sector and government have not been met, but we know that necessary blocks are there,â said Jain.
An understandable dilemma
The fear boils down to this: Not enough number of projects will be awarded while funds are there, or investors’ interest will fizzle out once the most popular president steps down less than three years from now in 2016.
âThe accommodative financing environment should embolden investors, both the private and public sectors to take advantage while the tap is flowing,â said BPI economists Mapa and Neri.
The dilemma on the part of government is understandable, but the danger of sliding back remains a threat to infrastructure development.
âI understand the government’s teething problem, but it’s disappointing… I hope things don’t get pushed back again,â Eduardo Francisco, president at BDO Capital Investment Corp., said in an interview.
Decades of neglect by past administrations have made simply obvious the fact that Philippines needs to improve its decrepit infrastructure, and the clamor is there to pursue that path of development.
âWe’re willing to finance, but there are no projects to bid for now,â Francisco said.
From the current pipeline of at least 47, only four projects worth a combined P43 billion were actually awarded three-years after the program was unveiled. 12 of the proposed projects were in advanced-approval stagesâand likely to be awarded during Aquino’s term.
âIn a fight or flight situation, we choose to fight despite bruises from criticisms, because we believe that what we do will change the way the government does business,â PPP Center’s Canilao said. â VS/VC, GMA News