Posts Tagged ‘PPP’

DOTC woos UK investors for PPP deals

Inquirer, 19 September 2014

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Transportation and Communications made a pitch to British investors and trade officials Thursday as it seeks to drum up interests for upcoming infrastructure deals under the administration’s public-private partnership program.

Transportation Undersecretary Rene Limcaoco made the presentation in Manila as President Aquino was in Europe on an official visit, partly to promote about $20 billion worth of PPP deals still in the pipeline.

Part of the department’s own pipeline on Thursday involved big-ticket airport and railway deals, as the department seeks to address an infrastructure gap needed to support the current pace of economic growth.

The DOTC, for example, said that about P109.6 billion would be invested in various airport projects across the Philippines, partly to attract more tourists, Limacaoco said.

“We need interested bidders. To enthuse interested companies to bid, we commit to a fair, transparent and level playing field,” Limcaoco told participants during the UK Transport Solutions forum on Thursday.

In terms of PPPs, the government was seeking final approval for at least six provincial airport deals, or those in Laguindingan, Bohol, Puerto Princesa, Iloilo, Bacolod and Davao. Limcaoco said these would be ready for rollout in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The government was confident in airport PPPs, after drawing strong interest for the P17.5-billion Mactan Cebu International Airport deal, which was won by the consortium of Megawide Construction Corp. and India’s GMR Infrastructure last April.

“We want to expand Philippine tourism. Tourism is a low-hanging fruit that will sop up excess underemployment that the Philippine economy also has,” Limcaoco said.

Big-ticket railway deals also include the operations and maintenance of Light Rail Transit Line 2, the $1.5 billion North-South Commuter rail line, a $3 billion mass transit system loop and the LRT-1 Dasmariñas extension.

Limcaoco said the existing railways serving Metro Manila account for only 6 percent of trips today but the figure is seen to increase to 17 percent to 18 percent after new and expansion railway projects are built.

“In the Philippine transportation sector, the biggest challenges include the need to fill the infrastructure gap and deliver services to ensure mobility in a fast growing country,” Transportation Undersecretary Jose Perpetuo Lotilla said in a prepared speech.

 

PNoy calls for broader French ties

Manila Standard Today, 18 September 2014

By Macon Ramos-Araneta

 

President will attend business meetings on Wednesday with French companies, which have established presence in the Philippines, and call for broader partnerships in “the wealth of opportunities” in the country, a presidential spokesman said.

Edwin Lacierda said Aquino will join the meetings with Airbus, Schneider Electric and Teleperformance and witness the signing of agreements during his two-day visit to Paris, France on September 17-18.

These companies have already established their presence in the Philippines, two of them for almost two decades, Lacierda said.

The visit to France was the third stop of a four-nation working trip to Europe. He has been to Spain and Belgium.

In France, where there are 46,000 Filipinos, Aquino will meet the Filipino community in the Chapelle Sainte Bernadette. From Paris, the president will proceed to Germany and the United States.

Lacierda said Aquino will meet French President Francois Hollande before attending the business meetings to discuss economic and cultural cooperation, health issues and disaster risk reduction and management.

He said Aquino will also have bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Manuel Valls and “topics such as the Filipino community in France and developments in the Philippine economy will be discussed.”

In Belgium, Aquino told businessmen the  government has leveled the playing field for all players in the Philippines, making the country a good investment destination, citing the $1.3 billion worth of public-private partnership projects that have been implemented.

“There is indeed a wealth of opportunity in the Philippines, and we hope to forge new partnerships or even broaden the existing ones in the near future—partnerships where all parties involved will benefit and will contribute to the rise of Asia’s new tiger,” Aquino said.

He said the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as of the second quarter of 2014 was 6.4 percent, and the government predicts the economy to hit its target of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent GDP growth by the end of the year.

“As it turns out all investors needed to see was a government dedicated to integrity and public service. We do not have to look beyond the area of public-private partnerships in order to see the transformation that has taken place in industry,” Aquino said.

He said the public-private partnerships were ideal ventures because all parties benefit: private enterprise profit by putting their expertise and knowledge and other resources to good use; government is able to complete large projects for the benefit of the people.

“From a mere promise of reform that we gave businessmen back in 2010, today, the results of our good governance agenda have allowed us to come so far, as we stand in front of so many potential partners,” Aquino said.

 

 

President plays salesman for ‘Asia’s next tiger’

Philippine Daily Inquirer, 18 September 2014

By Christian V. Esguerra

 

BRUSSELS—President Aquino played salesman on Tuesday and invited European businessmen to invest in various private-public partnership (PPP) projects underway, urging them to “contribute to the rise of Asia’s next tiger.”

In a gathering of potential investors at the Sofitel Hotel here, the President described a new business climate under his watch, one that claims to offer a “clear potential for profitability” and “a level playing field.”

“Today, I am confident in telling you: Take a look at what we have to offer,” he said.

“There is indeed a wealth of opportunity in the Philippines, and we hope to forge partnerships with you in the near future—partnerships where all parties involved will benefit, and will contribute to the rise of Asia’s next tiger.”

The President’s sales pitch came with a glossy booklet detailing investment opportunities in the Philippines and with the words, “Now is the best time to invest” there.

Robust pipeline

“Under the hallmark of good governance, the Philippine government guarantees that the private sector will be able to do business in an environment that nurtures fair and transparent transactions,” it said.

It outlines a “robust pipeline of PPP projects” such as the P122.8-billion Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike Project, the P35.4-billion Cavite Laguna Expressway Project, and the P64.9-billion Light Rail Transit Line 1 Cavite Extension Project.

“Under our administration, we get the infrastructure we need quicker than if we remained reliant on our budget process,” Aquino said.

“On top of that, investors can see a clear potential for profitability, so much so that they provide incentives for government in the form of premiums. The state is thus afforded the best possible bid because of a level playing field, which engenders fair competition among interested parties.”

Easy to set up shop

Aquino said business permits could now be obtained in three days, compared to the three-month, 10-step process before he took office.

“Streamlining the process of setting up shop in the Philippines eliminated opportunities for corruption and redounded to savings in the time and energy of companies,” he said.

“Unfortunately, for the past three administrations, the scales were unbalanced: Every incentive was seemingly put on the table just to be able to attract investors—from commercial development rights, to subsidies. Not to mention the fact that only six solicited projects were awarded in the 18 years before we entered office in 2010.”

From December 2011 until this month, he said his administration had either awarded or signed off on eight solicited PPP projects worth P62.6 billion.

In a speech on Tuesday at a forum organized by Egmont Institute, a think tank based in Brussels, Aquino declared, “I am proud to say to all of you: The Philippines is well and truly back in business.”

The President said the Philippines, with its economic resurgence, was now playing an “increasingly prominent role” as Southeast Asia builds a community working to achieve “security, peace and prosperity for its peoples.”

“I invite all like-minded people, communities and nations to join us,” he said. “Let us combine our strengths with yours; let us share lessons with one another, and together, accelerate our pursuit of the goal of improving everyone’s lives.”

Just getting started

Aquino said the Philippines, one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies, was just getting started.

“This is only the beginning,” said Aquino, who trumpeted government investments in health, education and other social services.

“These programs were designed with the long term in mind. They pave the way to a populace that is healthier, more educated and more equipped to take advantage of the opportunities that are becoming increasingly available,” he added.

“These are only a few of our accomplishments, but from these alone, it is clear: Good governance is making waves across the archipelago.”

In parading the gains of his administration, the President assailed his predecessor, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, before his international audience at the Château of Val-Duchesse.

Aquino described his election in 2010 as a “resounding statement” of voters that the “systemic pillaging of state coffers must end, and government must go back to serving its true bosses—the Filipino people.”

He made as exhibits of his anticorruption campaign the plunder case filed against Arroyo, the removal of former Chief Justice Renato Corona, and the impeachment of then Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

“My predecessor… is under hospital arrest as she faces two serious unbailable charges, with another one still being reviewed by the Ombudsman,” he said.

Investment driven

The 6.3-percent average economic growth from 2006 to 2009, the final years of Arroyo, was driven mainly by consumer spending with a bulk of the money coming from remittances from abroad.

“This meant that our economy was highly vulnerable to shocks not just in our own country, but in the host and receiving countries as well,” he said.

“This is why, over the course of our administration, we have worked to regain control of our economic destiny. We have made early strides in making Philippine growth more investment-driven, which is more sustainable,” he added, noting that the economy grew by an average of 6.3 percent from 2010 to 2013.

Prior to his term, Mr. Aquino said the Philippines was “mired in a vicious cycle of corruption, deceit and negativism.” He described Arroyo’s term as a “lost decade,” a period where “massive opportunity [was] squandered by a government that, instead of laying foundations for growth, focused on political self-preservation.”

“Some people had grown so apathetic that it seemed that the only ambition for them was to leave the country to look for better opportunities,” he said.

“Despite this, the previous administration had the temerity to claim credit for continued growth, which was actually fueled by Filipinos who were working abroad.”

Mr. Aquino said the Philippines was now enjoying “newfound vitality” that “can be felt in the optimism of the common Filipino.”

Originally posted at 6:39 pm | Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Aquino presents $20-B PPP projects to European investors

ABS-CBN News, 17 September 2014

By Ichi Batalan

 

A level playing field. That’s what President Aquino promised European investors as he promoted $20 billion worth of infrastructure contracts in the Philippines.

It’s the same pitch he used at the start of his presidency, but this time he’s telling it to a different audience, leaving out the details like delayed biddings and contested contracts.

 

Watch the news: ANC News Now, September 17, 2014

 

 

 

 

PPP projects also pushed in France, Germany

Malaya Business Insight, 17 September 2014

 
Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said  President Aquino will push public-private partnership projects in the remaining leg of his European trip after the successful PPP Conference in Brussels, Belgium yesterday.

Currently, PPP Center has over 50 projects in the pipeline, with an estimated investment requirement of about US$20.00 billion. A number of these infrastructure projects such as water facilities, rails, airports are ready to be rolled out in the next 12 months.

Domingo noted that these PPP projects will likewise be pushed in various fora of the France and Germany leg of the President’s trip to Europe until September 20.

“We are hopeful that we are able to draw snowballing interest from potential participants on PPP projects as well as provide an opportunity to partner with local companies,” Domingo said.

From Belgium, the President is set to visit France and Germany

“After these series of trips promoting investments, particularly PPP projects in the Philippines, we expect that we will able to relay and instill to potential European foreign investors that the country enables business that cultivates fair and transparent dealings,” Domingo said.

In Spain, the President conducted a series of dialogues with leading infrastructure development business leaders and shared future projects for bidding in the PPP program.

Domingo said the PPP projects, which are anchored on the key pillars of his administration such as transparency, accountability and good governance.

 

Aquino trumpets PPP gains at Brussels conference

ABS-CBN News, 17 September 2014

By Jorge Cariño

 

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – President Benigno Aquino III trumpeted the gains of his administration’s public private partnership program before the European community.

Speaking at the Conference on PPP Program For Infrastructure Projects In The Republic of the Philippines, Aquino said his administration has been able to award and sign off on 8 PPP projects, valued at P62.6 billion or around $1.3 billion, from December 2011 to September 2014.

“Under our administration, we get the infrastructure we need quicker than if we remained reliant on our budget process. On top of that, investors can see a clear potential for profitability, so much so that they provide incentives for government in the form of premiums. The state is thus afforded the best possible bid because of a level playing field, which engenders fair competition among interested parties” said Aquino.

The President attributed the gains to the efforts of his administration, which he says investors have seen a government dedicated to integrity and public service.

He said PPPs are regarded as ideal ventures precisely because all parties can benefit from them: private enterprise can profit by putting their expertise and knowledge to good use; government is able to complete large-scale projects at a more opportune time for the people.

“Unfortunately, for the past three administrations, the scales were unbalanced: every incentive was seemingly put on the table just to be able to attract investors-from commercial development rights, to subsidies. Not to mention the fact that only six solicited projects were awarded in the 18 years before we entered office in 2010,” Aquino said, taking a swipe at his predecessors.

Aquino said it was no easy task when he did the first pitch for PPP in November 2010.

“We understood the apprehension that businesses must have felt at the time, given my predecessor’s reputation, borne of constant allegations of wrongdoing. In 2010, the only reassurance we could give was the promise of integrity: that, under our watch, the playing field would be level, and that the Aquino administration would render true public service-by empowering our people, by harnessing their optimism and solidarity towards equitable progress, and by working with the private sector to change the landscape of the Philippines,” he said.

He assured that the promises his administration has made to business and to the Filipino people were promises that they intend to fulfill — through good governance, transparency, and accountability.

He highlighted his administration’s zero-based budgeting to eliminate ineffective program and strengthen institutions that were weakened by corruption and impunity.

Aquino said agencies’ performance targets are now detailed to the finest extent possible in their budgets, in order to demonstrate their transparency and the eventual accountability of the agency to the Filipino people.

“Streamlining the procurement process in each government agency allowed us to cut waste further. Meanwhile, prudent management gave us even more fiscal space to make greater investments in social services and in infrastructure development,” he said.

The President also underscored his administration’s efforts to streamline the process of setting up shop, eliminating opportunities for corruption, redounded to savings in the time and energy of companies.

“To obtain business permits and licenses, for example, you now need only one form, for a processing time of three days maximum-a vast improvement from the previous more than ten-step application process and three month processing time,” he said.

 

ADB: PHL needs to stop being too legalistic on PPP deals

Business Mirror / ABS-CBN News, 17 September 2014

By Lorenz S. Marasigan

 

The country’s key infrastructure thrust has a lot more room for improvement despite the Philippines being one of Asia’s champion nations in promoting collaboration between the government and the private sector.

In particular, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Managing Director General Juan Miranda said the government should remove all legal hurdles that delay the procurements and awards processes of the deals.

He then urged the government to review its policy on being too legalistic on the contracts, as this would make the deals more palatable to the taste of the investors.

“The government should do away with the legal hurdles and market the Philippines as the destination for investors—not just foreign but also local ones—to venture into national infrastructure,” Miranda said.

There are at least four public-private partnership (PPP) projects whose awarding were postponed due to legal battles.

The P5.69-billion Modernization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center deal that went to the Megawide-World Citi Inc. consortium last year was stopped from being implemented shortly after lawmakers and health groups petitioned against the project, as this would entail the privatization of the hospital.

Likewise, the awarding of the P17.5-billion Mactan Cebu International Airport New Passenger Terminal contract was postponed after the second winning bidder sought legal measures in a bid to win the deal. It went to Megawide Construction Corp. and GMR Infrastructures Ltd., the winning bidder, in April this year.

The granting of the P64.9-billion Light Rail Transit Line 1 Cavite Extension deal to the Light Rail Manila Consortium of Ayala Corp. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp. was also pushed back by more than two months, as a property developer challenged a component of the deal before the High Court. The consortium was the lone bidder for the project.

Currently, the Team Orion of Aboitiz Land Inc. and Ayala Corp. is still awaiting the granting of the P35.2-billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway deal, pending the decision of President Aquino on the petition of rival San Miguel Corp. (SMC).

Almost all auctions have been seeing delays, some already stalled for years, due to their commercial
implications.  But removing key hurdles entails much planning and review of the contracts, especially the allocation of resources, Miranda said.

“It is a learning process. Sometimes we issue a PPP, we learn from the mistakes, then we correct those mistakes. Then, later on, we have PPPs with fewer problems. It’s a difficult job. But the government should bear in mind that the client is the public. It is what really matters,” Miranda stressed.  The pipeline of key infrastructure projects number to almost 60 deals, 27 of those are under the transportation agency, while the others are spread among other government offices.

“Manila is a champion city that needs champion infrastructure and fantastic public-sector transport. It doesn’t matter who manages it. The important thing is we have to shift people from one place to another a lot faster,” Miranda said.

He noted that his agency is ready to partner with the government in financing infrastructure projects.

“Both of us, the government and ADB, are small, and these projects are big. We will have to work with the private sector. We hope to play a role in bridging investors and providing clear communications to remove fear in financing infrastructure,” the official said. “Let’s get proper infrastructure in place. Manila needs it. From the airport down to the points within the city, so people can go to work and don’t spend hours and hours in traffic.” He noted, however, that, no matter how quick the current government is in improving the infrastructure in the country, these projects will have to cross to another administration.

“Anyone can start, and even if they cannot finish it, someone else can. I’m sure there is plenty of time for the current administration and for others to do it. This is a thing of national interest,” Miranda said.

The government has awarded eight PPP contracts since the flagship infrastructure program was launched in late-2010. It aims to sign at least 15 contracts by the time President Aquino steps down from office in 2016.