August 21, 2012, 6:45pm

THE Philippines ranks high on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) readiness, says the “2011 Infrascope Study” conducted by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) for the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The study measured the readiness and capacity of a country to carry out sustainable, long-term PPP projects. It was carried out in 11 developing economies in the Asia-Pacific region, including the Philippines, along with four benchmark countries — Australia, United Kingdom, South Korea, and Japan, and one state, the Gujarat state of India.

Among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Philippines offers the most ideal environment for PPPs, the ADB said. The Philippines ranks eight in PPP-readiness, with a score of 47.1 out of 100, followed by ASEAN members Indonesia (46.1, ninth), Thailand (45.3, 10th), and Vietnam (26.3, 14th).

The study noted that the “Philippines has a long history with PPP projects, and benefits from a good legal framework. Bidding process is well-structured, and is putting in place laws and structures to attract more private investment.” The Philippines has set aside a bigger 2013 “PPP Strategic Support Fund” to prepare for next year’s flagship infrastructure projects under the Aquino Administration, including the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Toll Expressway, the Daang-Hari-SLEX Link Road, and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport expressway. This year, 21 projects have been identified for implementation.

The “Public-Private Partnership Handbook” by the ADB defines PPP as a range of possible relationships among public and private entities in the context of infrastructure and other services. In a PPP, the public partners are government entities such as departments, local government units, or government-owned and controlled corporations, while the private partners could do businesses in the Philippines with technical or financial expertise. It may also include multilateral organizations such as the World Bank.

We wish the Philippine Government, headed by President Benigno S. Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar C. Binay, Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio L. Singson, Asian Development Bank President Harihiku Kuroda, and Public-Private Partnership Center Executive Director Cosette V. Canilao, all the success in efforts to provide impetus to the Public-Private Partnership program. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!