Philippine Star, 30 December 2012

 

MANILA, Philippines – Exporters are urging the government to fast-track the implementation of infrastructure projects under the government’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) program, citing that doing so could help cut costs and promote greater trade.

Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said fast-tracking implementation of priority projects could have positive effect on the exports sector.

“A lot of roads, a lot of ports and even communications will lower the cost of doing business. It will improve the general plight of exporters,” he said.

He said better infrastructure facilities are what exporters want to see in the country next year.

The PPP program is part of the strategy to achieve inclusive growth in the country through infrastructure and development projects.

The government has so far rolled out eight projects under the PPP program.

These projects are: Phase I and II of the School Infrastructure project; the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway project; Light Rail Transit Line 1 Cavite extension operation and maintenance; the contactless automatic fare collection system; Mactan International Airport Terminal building project; the modernization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center, and the rehabilitation, operation and maintenance of the Angat Hydro-Electric Power Plant Auxiliary Turbines 4 and 5.

Two PPP projects have already been awarded, these are the Daang-Hari South Luzon Expressway link project and the first phase of the School Infrastructure project.

The country’s exports are targeted to grow by nine to 10 percent this year.

Merchandise exports were valued at $47.97 billion last year.

Latest data from the National Statistics Office showed that in the January to October period, merchandise exports were valued at $44.475 billion, 7.1 percent higher than in the same period last year.

Ortiz-Luis said earlier meeting the nine to 10 percent growth goal this year is difficult amid weak performance of electronic exports in the earlier part of the year as well as the strong peso.

He said however that if exports of electronic products post double-digit growth in the last two months of the year, the goal may still be achieved.