Source: Business Mirror

THE National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) remains confident that even if only one Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project has been approved by the interagency Investment Coordination Committee (ICC), the first five projects can begin the bidding process in the first semester.

The Cabinet-level ICC (ICC-CabCom) recently approved the Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) Link Road Project. This is only the first among the three projects that need to be approved by the ICC. The first two PPP projects, the $1.04 million-worth Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 operation and maintenance (O&M) and $171.11 million-worth privatization of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) 1 O&M no longer required ICC approval.

Rolando Tungpalan, Neda deputy director general for Investment Programming, said while the ICC has not yet received documents for the other PPP projects, it is still possible to start the bidding process no later than June this year.

“We’re also working with agencies. There are also consultations with the staff on requirements, so that even before the formal submission, there were advance drafts but that’s not yet the formal submission. We are banking on their complete submission and we’re doing our best to help them out,” Tungpalan said.

Even with an ICC CabCom approval, the Daang Hari project still needs to obtain the nod of the Neda Board, the highest policymaking body of the Neda, which is chaired by the President. Only after this approval can the government publish a call for interest to bid for the project, which is the initial stage of the bidding process.

Other projects, like the $235.33 million-worth Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway Phase II and the $477 million-worth North Luzon Expressway-South Luzon Expressway Connector, have not yet been approved by the ICC Cabcom.

PPP Center executive director Philamer Torio shared Tungpalan’s optimism and said what the government committed to was to begin the bidding process, which starts at the publication of the call for interest to bid for projects.

Torio added that the center is already preparing the second part of the list of projects to be bid out this year. He said they are still considering the projects that were initially made public last year.

“It is easy once it gets approved by the Neda ICC. What we promised is to start the bidding process which starts at the publication,” Torio said. –

By Lenie Lectura, published on 09 MAY 2011