As the pandemic widened the country’s infrastructure gap, the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center this year added five more projects worth P22.91 billion to its pipeline, bringing the grand total to 63 projects worth P7.243 trillion.

The additional projects include the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) Clark Tourism Enterprise Zone (TEZ), San Pablo City Water District Septage Management, General Santos Sanitary Landfill, Metro Cebu Expressway, and the Operations and the maintenance of Pasig City Hemodialysis Center.

Health and climate-resilient PPP projects also emerged as more implementing agencies (IAs) turned to PPPs for intervention infrastructure.

To date, the PPP Center database logged 183 projects under implementation, with a total cost of P2.295 trillion.

Significantly, 19 local PPP projects worth P50 billion are in the pipeline.

So far, the Center reported that the San Pablo City Water District Septage Management Project, started June 2021, is almost finished.

The solicited joint venture project undertaken according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Joint Venture Guidelines recently got three bidders who submitted qualification and bidding documents.

Also, the Iloilo City Slaughterhouse Project’s Invitation to Bid was published in September 2021.

Iloilo City taps the private sector for the rehabilitation, operation, and maintenance of the facility to increase production capacity and secure accreditation.

Meanwhile, the competitive challenge for the Tuguegarao City Septage Management Project, an unsolicited PPP project, is also nearing completion.

The project involves the financing, design, construction, development, and operation of Tuguegarao City’s septage management system and related infrastructure.

The Local PPP Strategy complements the devolution of certain functions of the executive branch to local governments under Executive Order No. 138.

In implementing this, the Center conducted 50 online capacity-building activities (OCBAs), 15 of which are part of the roster of capacity building activities offered by the Center for the year.

Notably, with the threat of COVID-19 still present, IAs continue to tap PPPs for health projects.

The University of the Philippines (UP) Philippine General Hospital (PGH) Manila Cancer Center Project and UP PGH Diliman Project are in the advanced stages of the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) approval process.

Once approved, bidding for these critical health infrastructure projects may start early next year.

A couple of regional hospitals of the Department of Health (DOH), the Cagayan Valley Medical Center and the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, were likewise submitted to the ICC for review and approval.

The DOH health projects include the development, operations, and maintenance of hemodialysis centers, including the provision of equipment.

The conduct of the feasibility study for the Mariveles Mental Wellness Center Project began this year and is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of next year.

Meanwhile, the Center saw the need for climate-resilient infrastructure after Typhoon Odette devastated the country’s vulnerable coastal areas.

Hence, the PPP Center ramped up its efforts to partner with the Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund (UCCRTF), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in projects promoting resilience in physical infrastructure at the local level.

Already, the PPP Center and the DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau signed a memorandum of agreement to ensure the use of protected areas in developing PPPs is consistent with the principles of biological diversity and sustainable development.

On the resiliency front, the PPP Center and the DENR are collaborating on the Risk Resiliency Program (RRP).

The RRP is DENR’s program for selected climate-vulnerable local government units (LGUs), composed of provinces and major urban areas which aim to integrate climate change and disaster risk reduction in preparing their resilience roadmap and Investment Portfolios for Risk Resilience (IPRRs) into their infrastructure projects.

Finally, work on improving the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the decades-old Build Operate and Transfer Law continues.

The PPP Center acts as the Secretariat of the BOT Law IRR Committee, an inter-agency body working on the amendments to the BOT Law IRR.

The amendment will facilitate the development of well-structured PPPs that deliver highquality services to the people.

The BOT IRR Committee will conduct stakeholder consultations in January 2022 then convene for the third time to approve the proposed amended IRR.

The last amendment to the BOT IRR was made in 2012. The approval of the amendment is expected early next year.

Published December 28, 2021, 11:07 AM
by Emmie V. Abadilla