July 31, 2011, SunStar

Businessman Rene Romero on Sunday called on President Benigno Simeon Aquino III to implement public-private partnership (PPP) agreements recommended by various Regional Development Councils (RDCs) to speed development in the regions.

Romero said that though the business sector here is impressed by his anti-corruption drive, his administration should not forget the need to spend government funds on infrastructure development to perk-up the economy.

“The regions need more infrastructures more than ever. We understand that the president is reviewing contracts and projects of the previous administration but this should not deter him from implementing vital works in the provinces,” Romero said.

Romero also lauded the President for his State of the Nation Address and expressed his belief that Aquino is starting the foundations of good and honest conduct of government projects.

The business sector, however, should also be able to feel the benefits of fiscal reforms, according to Romero. And this could only be achieved through the funding of vital infrastructure projects that would help in the development of the regions, particularly those near Metro Manila and economic hubs like Cebu and Davao cities.

For Central Luzon, Romero said the proposal for Tarlac to Baler in Aurora through road interconnection and the NorthRail project should be pushed through to speed up development for the region in the next 10 years.

Romero also urged Aquino to give a stronger voice to the RDCs in the shaping of fiscal and development plans. He said that there are many brilliant proposals from the private sector that are lodged at the RDCs.

“The private sector has the money to help government with these development projects. We hope that the Mr. Aquino would spend the rest of the fiscal year on development programs,” Romero said.

Romero said it is too early to judge the fiscal performance of the Aquino administration as development projects would take time to be felt by local economies in the regions.