THE National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) is preparing a “menu” of possible public-private partnership (PPP) projects to entice the private sector to invest in various regions.

In a recent briefing, Neda Undersecretary for Region Development Adoracion M. Navarro said they are encouraging more local government units (LGUs) to submit project lists.

This also serves as the national government’s answer to the private sector that felt left out in the Duterte administration’s massive infrastructure program.

“The investment program is dynamic. It evolves. One feature that might evolve is the type of financing,” Navarro said.

“We at the regional development office are preparing something to encourage more PPPs in the regions. Even if these are small projects, we will be able to present this as numerous PPP projects. The private sector may find this very attractive,” she added.

Navarro said one of the first regions to submit a list was the Davao region. The list included the Mati City Agri-Fisheries Center; development of cacao plantation farm; establishment of cacao processing plant; and development of the Tagum City Aquaculture Complex.

The list also included the construction of a waste-to-energy facility; a possible monorail in the city; and the Davao airport project, among others.

“That’s a sample for one region and again, inputs are coming in and we hope to come up with projects in all the regions to make these available to the project sector,” Navarro said.

Navarro said there is a host of available PPP options for LGUs. They can go with the build-operate-transfer (BOT) route, which is consistent with the build-operate-and- transfer law and its implementing rules and regulations.

The BOT law provides various permutations of PPP contractual arrangements. Apart from BOT, these options include build and transfer; build-lease-and-transfer; and build-own-and-operate. The list also includes build-transfer-and-operate; contract-add-and-operate; develop-operate-and-transfer; rehabilitate-operate-and-transfer; and rehabilitate-own-and-operate.

They can also resort to joint ventures which are allowed under the joint-venture guidelines of the government. Navarro also said LGUs can even come up with their own PPP code to facilitate their engagements with the private sector.

Meanwhile, Neda Public Investment Staff Officer in Charge-Director Hazel Iris S. Baliatan said of the 4,490 available projects, most already have funding. The bulk, or 4,095 projects and programs (PAPs), will be funded using locally generated funds.

Around 227 PAPs will be funded through other sources, such as purely private investment and internally generated funds; around 68 will be financed through official development assistance; and 39 will be funded through PPP.

However, Baliatan said around 61 projects still do not have funding sources. The government, the Neda said, was already in the process of finding the appropriate financing for these projects.

By Cai Ordinario
Published on July 29, 2018