GMA News, 19 December 2013

By Siegfrid O. Alegado


The Aquino administration wants to cap its term with 15 contracts awarded under its flagship public-private partnership (PPP) program, of which seven infrastructure projects will be completed by 2016, a ranking government official told reporters at a briefing Thursday.

“We’re working on having at least 15 contracts signed, seven infrastructure projects completed,” said Cosette Canilao, PPP Center executive director, the office overseeing and reviewing projects under the flagship program.

A list obtained by reporters showed the seven infrastructure projects are:

  • Daang Reyna-Daang Hari connector road to the South Luzon Expressway
  • 9,300 school buildings under Phase-1 PPP for School Infrastructure Project
  • 10,679 school buildings under Phase-2 PPP for School Infrastructure Project
  • Philippine Orthopedic Center modernization
  • Elevated expressway access to Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminals I, II and III
  • Metro Rail automated, integrated ticketing
  • Three inter-modal mass transportation terminals at the outskirts of Metro Manila.

The contracts for the two toll roads, the school buildings, and the Orthopedic Center have been awarded.
Canilao said eight more projects will be awarded by the time President Benigno S. Aquino III steps down in 2016.

These are:

  • Mactan-Cebu International Airport
  • Cavite-Laguna Expressway
  • Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 extension to Cavite
  • Treated water transmission, mains, reservoirs and related-facilities in Bulacan
  • Enhanced operation and maintenance (O&M) of New Bohol (Panglao) Airport
  • O&M of Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental
  • O&M of LRT line 2
  • New Centennial Water Supply Source Project for Metro Manila.

Some 35 projects in various stages – from advanced feasibility studies to roll-out – will also be turned over to the succeeding administration, Canilao said.

Fifty projects are currently in the pipeline, with Department of Transportation and Communications and the Department of Public Works and Highways accounting for three-fifths.

The PPP program was unveiled to investors in November 2010 to boost the Philippines’ decrepit infrastructure, a major bottleneck in attracting direct investments.

But disagreements between the private and public sectors over allocation of risks on the PPPs have slowed down the bidding process.

PPP officials, however, maintained that stringent reviews and policy-building were needed to ensure transparency and well-thought-of contracts.

“What we’ve seen really are the fruits of hard work in foundation-laying,” said PPP Deputy Executive Director Jose Emmanuel Reverente.

Despite the disagreements between the public and private sectors in the early stages of the PPP initiative, multilateral organizations such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank have said the Philippines’ PPP process is one of the fastest in the world. – VS/BM, GMA News