ERIA, 20 August 2014
Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar – August 18, 2014 (updated 20 August):¬†The Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) held a Public Private Partnership (PPP) Technical Workshop at Hotel Amara, Nay Pyi Taw on August 11, 2014 jointly with the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development (MNPED) of Myanmar. The Workshop is the first in a series of ERIA PPP Technical Workshops to be held in Myanmar, Lao PDR, and Cambodia wherein international leading experts as well as government officials, representatives from the private sector and members of the academia in each of the abovementioned countries share knowledge and views on how to develop a PPP framework using an ongoing draft of the ASEAN PPP Set of Guidelines developed by ERIA. Presentations from the distinguished speakers will be the basis of the open discussions that will ensue afterwards.
This first Workshop in Myanmar was participated in by around 70 invitees from concerned ministries, private sector representatives, and members of academia from and outside Myanmar. H.E. Dr. San Lwin, Deputy Minister of Myanmar’s MNPED, opened the event where he expressed his and the government of Myanmar’s gratitude to ERIA for organizing this important and timely workshop which will support the development of a PPP framework and the successful implementation of the economic reform in Myanmar.
The one-day programme was structured in a way that the morning session provides the audience with a fundamental understanding of PPP together with sectorial issues in Myanmar, and the afternoon panel session discusses how to refine the draft of the PPP Guidelines taking the situation of Myanmar into account.
International speakers in the morning session include: Dr. Michael Regan, Professor of Bond University, Australia; Dr. Ibnu Syabri, Associate Professor of Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia; Mr. Eleazar Ricote, Director of the PPP Center of the Philippines; Mr. Nik Nasir Majid, Independent Consultant of Malaysia; and Mr. Adil Zaidi, Director, Infrastructure & PPP, Ernst & Young LLP. MNPED also invited presenters from: Ministry of Transport; Ministry of Electric Power; Ministry of Rail Transportation; and Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI).
The panel discussion in the afternoon was guided by Dr. Fauziah Zen, Economist of ERIA. While introducing the draft of the PPP Guidelines, she mentioned that “we are trying to make the PPP Guidelines as the product of ASEAN Member States, and we are here to communicate with both public and private sectors to obtain inputs to the Guidelines”. In addition to the speakers in the presentation session, discussants from the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Construction participated in the active discussion and exchanged views on topics such as the necessity of having a champion institution for PPP, effective incentive mechanisms for private partners, and the definition of PPP in the Myanmar context itself.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Yasushi Iwata, General Manager of ERIA, expressed his hope that this workshop will become the kickoff for Myanmar to develop its own scheme of PPP in the near future. Recommendations and comments from the workshop discussions will be incorporated in the draft of the PPP Guidelines for the latter’s further improvement. The second and third workshops under the ERIA PPP Technical Workshop Series will be held in Lao PDR and Cambodia on August 19 and 21, 2014, respectively.
18 August 2014
Watch the interview:
Sun Star, 08 August 2014
By¬†Isolde D. Amante¬†and¬†Mia A. Aznar
IT HAS been acknowledged that the lack of infrastructure is why growth in the Philippines has not been inclusive. But despite options that are now available to local governments, there is a lack of awareness among stakeholders.
To push more public-private partnerships, the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) 7 partnered with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) to hold a two-day orientation seminar on public-private partnerships.
Held last Thursday and yesterday, the seminar discussed the country‚Äôs PPP policies, the laws on build-operate-transfer, joint venture agreements and a PPP code for local government units. It also dealt with the services of the PPP Center and a manual for local government units (LGUs).
As this developed, the National Competitiveness Council revealed that only Cebu City and Argao from Central Visayas made it into the list of the country‚Äôs 10 most competitive communities, in terms of infrastructure.
Top 10 towns, cities in infra
Six of the top 10 cities come from Luzon, and two are from the Visayas. Only two are from Mindanao as well, but these are in the top spots.
Following Davao City and Cagayan de Oro in the top 10 cities list are: 3) Marikina, 4) Makati, 5) Cebu City, 6) Quezon City, 7) Iloilo, 8) Angeles, 9) Pasay and 10) Manila.
Of the top 10 towns, only Argao from Cebu Province made it among the Central Visayas municipalities. Luzon again dominated the list, with seven of the top 10 towns, including the top three. Two of the top towns are in Mindanao.
The top 10 towns in terms of infrastructure are: 1) Daet, Camarines Norte; 2) Rodriguez, Rizal; 3) Paniqui, Tarlac; 4) Argao, Cebu; 5) Nabunturan, Compostela Valley; 6) Taytay, Rizal;
7) General Trias, Cavite; 8) Donsol, Sorsogon; 9) Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon; and 10) Silang, Cavite.
The full list appears on¬†www.competitive.org.
During the seminar in Cebu, Neda 7 Assistant Regional Director Ruth Cruz said that even with the PPP Center and the BOT law in place, there is still not enough infrastructure projects being developed. She said they felt the need to orient stakeholders on the options available to them so they can make plans for their own localities and spur growth in those areas.
‚ÄúVery few have first-hand knowledge of the BOT law and how to go about PPP,‚ÄĚ she explained. She added that many LGUs have not explored the option of getting into joint ventures with private companies even if they have the power to do so.
Cruz said local chief executives ‚Äúwith big dreams‚ÄĚ for their towns or cities can implement infrastructure projects this way.
They believe there are many in the private sector who are qualified to bid for projects but do not fully understand how to go about the process.
Aside from orienting stakeholders on the policies of such options, Cruz said the seminar also served as a venue for the private sector to network with interested government officials. Among those who attended were representatives of local government units including a few mayors from as far as Siquijor, business owners, civil society leaders and foreign consultants.
Last Thursday, they had certified PPP specialist lawyer Alberto Agra to discuss the definition and modalities of PPP, the Philippine BOT law, joint venture agreements, and the PPP code for LGUs. Yesterday, PPP Center Director Eleazar Ricote discussed the PPP Center‚Äôs capacity building services and the PPP manual for LGUs.
12 August 2014
The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center of the Philippines serves as resource institution in the ongoing efforts of the ASEAN to establish PPP guidelines for member countries.
PPP Center Director Eleazar E. Ricote presented to the regional audience the country’s PPP policy, institutional, program and project experience, initiatives and reform efforts as inputs to the Guidelines initiated by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) during the Technical Workshop Series Towards Establishing PPP Guidelines in Southeast Asia held at Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar last August 11, 2014.
The PPP Center, recently recognized by the 2014 Partnership Awards as the Best Government PPP Promoter, takes on an active role in the ASEAN’s agenda of regional sharing and exchange of PPP knowledge and experience.
In December 2014, another round of ASEAN PPP Forum will be held in Manila, with the PPP Center as co-organizer.¬†¬†This is aimed at collaboratively strengthening PPP institutions in the region, consistent with the integration agenda and possible cross border infrastructure and development projects.
Business World, 01 August 2014
By¬†Ailyn D. Galura
InterAksyon, 30 July 2014
By¬†Azer N. Parrocha, Philippines News Agency
MANILA — The government has awarded and signed off on seven Public-Private Partnership projects, with a total value of P62.6 billion in just four years during the Aquino administration.
This was among the achievements cited by President Benigno S. Aquino III during his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.
President Aquino said that with this number, the government has surpassed the combined six approved solicited PPP projects of the past three administrations from December 2011 to June this year.
These PPPs are:
‚ÄúAgain: Good economics is borne of good governance,‚ÄĚ the President said in his speech.
He also noted that more infrastructure projects will be nearing completion this year including more export expansions, fixing of roads and expressway projects, among others.
Currently, the biggest PPP project at P123-billion is the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike, which is set to be completed by yearend.
Inquirer.net, 28 July 2014
By¬†Kristine Angeli Sabillo
MANILA, Philippines ‚Äď A mega dike in Laguna and a green city in Subic are among the top public private partnership (PPP) projects being eyed by the government, President Benigno Aquino III said during his fifth State of the Nation Address.
He said the public bidding for the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike would begin before 2014 ends.
The project will address flooding in the area through the construction of a dike, which will also result in cleaner water for Laguna Lake.
Aquino said it would also help lessen traffic congestion because of the construction of an expressway, from Los Ba√Īos to Taguig, on top of the dike.
He said it won‚Äôt cost the government anything, only a portion of the reclaimed land, which will serve as the payment to the winning bidder.
On the other hand, Aquino said the Clark Green City will be the ‚Äúcenter of commerce and industry in Central Luzon.‚ÄĚ
He said it will be larger than the Bonifacio Global City.
Business World, 29 July 2014
By Marites S. Villamor
‚ÄúThe next wave of economic development is going to be about soft infrastructure, intellectual capital and services,‚ÄĚ Brian Murray, chief economist and head of research of AIA Group Ltd., said in a press conference.
Mr. Murray, who was among the speakers during an investor forum organized here by Philam Asset Management, Inc. (PAMI) on Friday, said investments in ‚Äúsoft‚ÄĚ infrastructure such as education and health care should be on top of the hard infrastructure projects being executed.
He lauded the government‚Äôs public-private partnership program (PPP), saying it is ‚Äúexactly what the Philippines needs in terms of providing the basis for long-term economic growth.‚ÄĚ
The government has rolled out seven PPP projects cumulatively worth P62.6 billion as of June.
However, Mr. Murray said the government should accelerate the rollout of PPP projects or risk losing the country‚Äôs competitive edge over other Southeast Asian countries, which are also implementing infrastructure projects.
‚ÄúThailand and Malaysia are also trying to build their infrastructure. If they execute (infrastructure projects) and have new airports and better roads and ports and the Philippines doesn‚Äôt, then it could be a problem in the long term,‚ÄĚ Mr. Murray said.
He said the Philippines could afford to increase infrastructure spending, given its strong financial position.
‚ÄúPublic finances in the Philippines are actually good. Fiscal deficit is 1.5% of GDP (gross domestic product) and public debt is under 50% (of GDP). You could afford a higher fiscal deficit and you should have more fiscal spending to build more infrastructure,‚ÄĚ he added.
Mr. Murray noted that the country‚Äôs GDP growth has been ‚Äústable, unleveraged and balanced.‚ÄĚ
The Philippine economy expanded by a faster-than-targeted 7.2% last year and is expected to grow 6.5-7.5% this year. Growth, however, eased to a weaker-than-expected 5.7% in the first quarter from 7.7% a year ago. Mr. Murray said the consensus among economists is a GDP growth rate of 6.4% for the Philippines while the International Monetary Fund has cut its Philippine growth forecast to 6.2% from a previous projection of 6.5%.
‚ÄúYour growth is not leveraged. It‚Äôs not based on expanding credit. On the contrary, it is based on high savings,‚ÄĚ he said.
‚ÄúYour growth is balanced. It‚Äôs not reliant on consumption like the US economy. It‚Äôs not reliant on investments like the Chinese economy. It‚Äôs not reliant on exports like the German economy.‚ÄĚ
And while inflation has been picking up, Mr. Murray said, ‚Äú[t]he bigger reason I‚Äôm not concerned is that the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) has been very proactive in maintaining stable growth and not letting inflation threaten economic growth since the 2008 financial crisis.‚ÄĚ
The country‚Äôs inflation rate averaged 4.2% last semester from just 2.9% in the same six months last year, according to latest official data.
He noted that the Philippines posted relatively strong GDP growth rates despite external shocks from the 2008 financial crisis, Eurozone crisis in 2010-2011, the big influx of liquidity from quantitative easing purchases since last year, and even the taper tantrum that led to outflows of capital last year.
The Philippines also weathered domestic shocks like Bohol‚Äôs powerful earthquake in October and super-typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) in November last year.
‚ÄúYou had a slowdown, a bit of an uptick in inflation,‚ÄĚ Mr. Murray noted. ‚ÄúBut GDP outlook and public finances haven‚Äôt fundamentally changed. On the contrary, they remain on the positive track.‚ÄĚ
An obvious caveat is that if there‚Äôs war in the Middle East or the Russia-Ukraine situation escalates and oil prices spike, it would be hard for the Philippines to maintain high growth rates, Mr. Murray said. ‚ÄúI do think the Philippines would be resilient to the aftereffects of a big spike in global oil prices,‚ÄĚ he said.
Meanwhile, he said the Philippines, with its strong fundamentals, is likely to attract capital inflows as central banks increase liquidity. He said capital inflows would come not only from the US, which is ending its quantitative easing program, but also from Japan and the European Union. ‚ÄúThe bias in central banks, particularly in the developed markets, is towards more liquidity and towards more loosening. More liquidity is possible because inflation is not a threat in any of the major economies,‚ÄĚ Mr. Murray said.
As of June, Japan reported a 3.3% inflation, but is targeting to end the year with 2% while the EU reported an inflation rate of 0.5%. ‚ÄúThis is actually a deflation, so expect a quantitative easing program from the European Central Bank at some point this year,‚ÄĚ Mr. Murray said.
PAMI is holding a series of forums to provide investors with the information and tools with which to make sound investment decisions. A similar forum will be held in Davao City next month and in Metro Manila at a later date.
worldcement.com, 29 July 2014
Holcim Philippines has reported an 8.7% y/y increase in net income in 1H14, at P3.32 billion. In the April ‚Äď June quarter revenues were up 8.5% y/y to P8.81 billion. Total sales in the first half reached P16.86 billion; sales volumes hit 92 million bags, an 8.8% increase y/y. Operating profit for the first six months of the year reached P8.81 billion, up from P8.11 billion in 1H13.
Growth was driven by reconstruction efforts in the Visayas, government spending on infrastructure and the start of some Public-Private Partnership projects. Net income was slightly down in the second quarter compared to the first due to higher power costs. In the second half, the company said it will concentrate on completing regular maintenance of the cement plants on time and on budget. CEO Eduardo Sahagun said the company is on track for full year sales volume growth of 8%.
“On top of the sustained government and private sector spending, we now see some major Private-Public Partnership projects being implemented in the metropolis, hence our strong sales. We were able to meet this huge demand with our ability and commitment to keep the market supplied during this period of robust growth,” said Sahagun.
Holcim and Lafarge recently announced their planned divestments ahead of their proposed merger. In the Philippines, the situation was a little less clear while the companies are ‚Äėexploring the combination of their businesses‚Äô. At a media briefing, Sahagun told press that they estimate Lafarge‚Äôs market share to be 28% and Holcim‚Äôs to be around 34%, which brings their combined share to 62%. ‚ÄúThat should be reduced,‚ÄĚ he said.
Edited from various sources by¬†Katherine Guenioui
Rappler, 28 July 2014
President Aquino says they’ve awarded more PPP projects than the past 3 administrations
MANILA, Philippines ‚Äď The Aquino administration has awarded 7 public-private partnership projects (PPPs) versus the 6 solicited PPPs implemented by the previous 3 administrations.
President Benigno Aquino III boasted of this accomplishment in his 5th State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 28.
He stressed that sound infrastructure is needed for the Philippine economy to continue moving forward, be more competitive, accelerate the flow of goods and services, and attract attract more investors.
The President reported a significant increase in infrastructure budget to¬†P404.3 billion ($9.31 billion*)¬†from P200.3 billion ($4.61 billion) in 2011.
He said such increase did not require hike in taxes, except for the Sin Tax Reform Law.
7 PPP projects awarded
To date, the Aquino administration has awarded¬†7 PPP projects¬†worth about P62.6 billion ($1.44 billion). These include:
The bidding for the most expensive PPP project to date ‚Äď the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board-approved, P123-billion ($2.84 billion)¬†Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike¬†‚Äď will also be opened before 2014 ends. The¬†project¬†will be bid out under the Build-Operate-Transfer and is expected to reduce traffic and flooding in southern Metro Manila and Laguna with the construction of a 47-kilometer flood control dike on top of a 6-lane expressway.
There are more companies now willing to invest in the country through the PPP program, easing the burden on government expenditures, Aquino said.
He attributed this interest in shortened application procedures and decreasing opportunities for bribery in project biddings.
He said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) saved P28 billion ($646 million) after hastening the implementation of projects.
More infra projects nearing completion
Aquino also mentioned that the¬†Puerto Princesa and Busuanga airports¬†are underway.
He said the government was also able to get good offers for the Mactan-Cebu International Airport expansion project worth P14 billion ($322.92 million), and the NAIA Expressway Project Phase 2 worth P11 billion ($253.63 million).
Also, the¬†DPWH has completed 12,184 kilometers of roads¬†‚Äď fixed, paved, or widened ‚Äď the same length as 4 national roads connecting Laoag and Zamboanga City.
The Tarlac-Pangasinan Expressway project is now facilitating traffic from Tarlac to Rosales, Pangasinan. The Urdaneta portion is expected to be completed before 2014 ends, while the expressway will reach La Union by next year.
Projects that took decades to complete are now seeing completion, Aquino said. They include:
NEDA board-approved projects
Once the C-6 road connecting to San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan is finished, it is expected to decongest traffic in EDSA.
To address the water shortage in Metro Manila by 2021, the Aquino administration approved the Kaliwa Dam Project in General Nakar, Quezon, and the repair of the lines of Angat Dam. The Water District Development Sector Project, under the Local Water Utilities Administration, has also been approved.
Other NEDA board-approved projects in the pipeline include the Laoag City Bypass Link Road project, the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit project, and the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 South Extension and Line 2 East Extension projects.
The modern Clark Green City in Capas, Tarlac has also been approved. The project is expected to boost commerce in Central Luzon and the rest of the country. This once desolated vast piece of land is seen to be the next, if not better than, Bonifacio Global City, the President said.
‚ÄúThese are only of the few infrastructure projects that we have no plans to pass to the next administration as problems, instead, they are now started to being enjoyed by our bosses, the Filipino people,‚ÄĚ Aquino stressed in Filipino. ‚Äď¬†With a report from Lynda C. Corpuz/Rappler.com
*($1 = P43.37)