MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will ask Congress to amend the Build-Transfer-Operate (BOT) Law and extend the period for challenging unsolicited proposals.

Public Works Undersecretary Maria Catalina Cabral said the DPWH would soon submit a set of proposed revisions to the BOT Law as part of the Marcos administration’s plan to shift to public-private partnerships (PPP) for infrastructure funding.

Among these changes, Cabral said the DPWH wants to amend the process for challenging the original proponent of a PPP by updating the right to match system.

Likewise, the DPWH seeks to overhaul the challenge period when the government receives an unsolicited proposal. Under the plan, private firms can file alternative proposals for a PPP within 180 days for big-ticket projects and 30 days for small-scale undertakings.

“We want to amend the process of challenging the original proponent so we are looking at revising the right to match process. To this end, the 60-day challenge period is short, especially for big, complex projects, but too long for small projects,” Cabral said.

Cabral said the agency is evaluating on the classification of PPPs, but likely projects headed by local governments would be placed under the 30-day challenge period.

Similarly, the public works official said the DPWH hopes to include joint venture agreements as an additional variant of the PPP mechanism under the BOT Law.

Looking ahead, Cabral said the DPWH would work with fellow national agencies to once and for all complete the amendments to the BOT Law it would put forward to legislators.

“Again, clear guidance of the BOT Law is necessary and with this we will push for amendments in this Congress. We are now meeting together with other agencies to finalize the submission to Congress,” Cabral said.

In response, NLEX Corp. president and general manager Luigi Bautista said NLEX commits to hasten the delivery of its ongoing projects in support of the government’s push for PPPs.

NLEX Corp. is set to open in December the España segment of the NLEX Connector Road.

Bautista also announced that the Sta. Mesa section is expected to be completed by April next year.

The eight kilometer NLEX Connector Road – expected to serve around 35,000 motorists daily – is being delivered by NLEX Corp., a subsidiary of the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., the toll road development arm of the Metro Pacific Investments Corp.

Elijah Felice Rosales – The Philippine Star
November 20, 2022 | 12:00am