Business Mirror, 19 December 2013

By Cai U. Ordinario


THE Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center says it will be able to award at least 15 PPP contracts by the time President Aquino ends his term in 2016.

In a briefing on Thursday, PPP Center Executive Director Cosette V. Canilao told reporters that by the end of 2016, the government will have “a robust pipeline” of 50 PPP projects.

“What we want to achieve by the end of 2016 is a robust pipeline of projects. From 2011, we created a mechanism [where] projects will be developed properly. [Our] approach is pipeline development and not [approve deals on a] per-project [basis],” Canilao said.

This so-called pipeline includes the 15 projects the agency intends to award by that time. However, Canilao said there could be additional projects included in the pipeline in the coming years.

The 15 projects that are likely to be within the next two years include the Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway (Slex) Link Road; Phases 1 and 2 of the PPP School Infrastructure Project (PSIP); Phase 2 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway; Modernization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center; Automatic Fare Collection System; Mactan-Cebu International Airport new passenger terminal building; and the Cavite-Laguna Expressway.

Other contracts include that of the Light Railway Transit (LRT) Line 1-Cavite Extension and Operation and Maintenance (O&M) project; Integrated Transport System; Bulacan Bulk Water Supply project; Enhanced O&M of the new Bohol (Panglao) airport; establishment of cold chain systems covering strategic areas in the Philippines; O&M project for the Laguindingan airport; and O&M of LRT Line 2.

Apart from the said projects, Canilao noted that by the end of 2016 the government will be able to complete seven projects and turn over at least 10 infrastructure facilities to the private sector for operation and maintenance.

PPP projects currently in the pipeline include 48 projects, with five projects already awarded; four projects in the bidding stage and two that were recently approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Board.

The list also includes five projects undergoing project evaluation; three projects being finalized; 12 that are undergoing feasibility studies; five projects obtaining transactional advisers; 10 under conceptualization; and three other projects for monitoring.

The national government has earned a total of P27 billion from bidding out four key PPP projects in the past few years, according to the PPP Center.

“Not only did the government earn P27 billion, but we have four upcoming infrastructure projects that will also increase the level of service to the public. We had a good start with the projects we rolled out,” Canilao said.

She added that social PPP projects, such as schools and hospitals, will also be added to the list. Canilao said the Department of Education and Department of Health are also drafting similar projects that will be submitted for PPP undertaking.

“The Department of Transportation and Communications and Department of Public Works and Highways are developing more projects so we will see more from both agencies. On the other hand, we also saw the success of social infrastructure projects so we’re also working with the Department of Education and the Department of Health in developing projects for social infrastructure so we would also see a lot of that [in the coming years],” Canilao said.

Overall, Canilao said the government’s PPP initiative has been able to progress steadily. She said apart from the rolled out projects, the government was able to create guidelines that ensure a level playing field for both local and foreign players.

The PPP initiative, which began in 2010, has been implemented by the PPP Center, an attached agency of the Neda. The Center was created by virtue of Executive Order 8, Series of 2010, signed on September 9, 2010.

The program is a cornerstone strategy for national development aimed at accelerating infrastructure and other development services, in order to sustain national economic growth.