A Cabinet-level committee on Thursday approved revisions to the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the amended Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) law, paving the way for big-ticket infrastructure projects that could be pursued in partnership with the private sector.

According to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), the Marcos administration is keen on teaming up with the private sector as it “remains committed to transparency and participatory processes” that are involved in public-private partnerships (PPP).

Rapid transformation
“We see PPPs in infrastructure and development initiatives as pivotal to the rapid transformation of the Philippine economy,” especially ones that will contribute to postpandemic economic recovery, Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said in a statement.

The “approval by the Cabinet-level BOT IRR Review Committee of the revised IRR is a significant step moving forward,” Balisacan said.

Stakeholder concerns
This happens just two days after a public consultation on proposed amendments to the implementing rules was held on Sept. 13.

In turn, the proposed amendments, now approved, were based on the comments received during the public consultation held last March.
The amendments are intended to address stakeholder concerns on the financial viability and bankability of PPP projects, clarify ambiguous provisions that could cause delays in the PPP process, and solicit inputs from the public on other possible revisions.

An example is the removal of a rule which states that actions made by regulators cannot be subject to arbitration.

Another is that a “material adverse government action” or Maga, which might be detrimental to the private-sector partner and trigger a dispute, is no longer limited to actions done by the Executive Department.

Before this, the rules exclude from Maga those actions done by a government agency or a local government unit or an approving body.

By: Ronnel W. Domingo – Philippine Daily Inquirer / 02:20 AM September 16, 2022