THE PUBLIC-PRIVATE Partnership (PPP) Center will seek the President’s approval to roll out four infrastructure projects worth around P96 billion when the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board meets in January next year, its top official said.

“(Socioeconomic Planning) Secretary (Arsenio M.) Balisacan said they will try to have one NEDA Board meeting in January,” PPP Center Executive Director Cosette V. Canilao said during the agency’s yearend briefing on Friday afternoon at the PPP Center’s headquarters in Quezon City.

Ms. Canilao said the four projects to be submitted to the NEDA Board for approval are the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Development, Batangas-Manila (BatMan) Natural Gas Pipeline, Philippine Travel Center Complex (PTCC) and Plaridel Bypass Tollroad.

The NAIA Development Project will upgrade all of the airports terminals to meet the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization. It has an indicative cost of P74.56 Billion, according to the PPP Center’s Web site.

The P10.528-billion BatMan pipeline project involves the construction of a 121-kilometer pipeline that will transport and supply natural gas to markets along its route from Batangas, Laguna and Cavite, and eventually to Metro Manila. It is part of efforts to develop the country’s natural gas industry and reduce dependence on imported fuels.

Meanwhile, the P1.75 billion PTCC project involves the financing, design, construction and maintenance of a mixed-use, multi modal complex that will house various tourism-related agencies in Intramuros. The PTCC, which will be implemented by the Tourism department and Nayong Pilipino Foundation, is envisioned to house all transactions related to travel and tourism in a single complex.

Lastly, the P9.387-billion Plaridel Bypass Toll Road of the Department of Public Works and Highways involves the construction of a 23.3-kilometer toll road that will link the Balagtas interchange at North Luzon Expressway to San Rafael, in Bulacan, passing through the towns of Balagtas, Guiguinto, Plaridel and Bustos.

The plan involves conversion of the existing segment into a toll road, its widening, construction of additional interchanges, overpasses and underpasses, as well as operation and maintenance of the toll road and provision for service roads.

The approval of the NEDA Board, chaired by President Benigno S. C. Aquino III, is the last regulatory hurdle before a PPP contract is offered to potential investors.

Ms. Canilao said the agency is sticking to its target of awarding 15 projects before the President steps down in June next year.

Twelve contracts cumulatively worth some P217.4 billion have been awarded since the program was launched in 2010.

18 December 2015
By Daphne J. Magturo