Business World, 23 December 2014

AT LEAST nine public-private partnership (PPP) projects could be rolled out by next year, the head of the PPP Center said on Tuesday, after three of these gained approval from a government economic planning panel earlier in the week.

PPP Center Executive Director Cosette V. Canilao told reporters during the PPP Year-ender media conference in Quezon City that ”more or less nine projects as of today” will be rolled out by next year.

These concessions are the P374.5-billion Makati-Pasay-Taguig Mass Transit System Loop; the P177.215-billion North-South Railway Project (South Line); the P50.18-billion Regional Prison Facilities through PPP; the P35.4-billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX); the P25.6-billion North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) — South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) Connector Road; the P19.332-billion Motor Vehicle Inspection System Project; the P18.99-billion Davao Sasa Port Modernization Project; the P1.161-billion Civil Registry System-IT Project (Phase II); and the P400-million Tanauan City Public Market Redevelopment.

Three of these projects were approved on Monday night for rollout by the National Economic and Development Authority-Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (NEDA ICC-CabCom). These are the new terms for the rebidding of CALAX, the NLEx-SLEx Connector Road, and Tanauan City Public Market Redevelopment.

Ms. Canilao said the new terms for the contract to build and operate the 47.018-kilometer CALAX was approved by the NEDA ICC-CabCom during its Dec. 22 meeting.

This follows Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio L. Singson’s statement earlier this month that the new auction will have a floor of P20.1 billion — the top premium San Miguel Corp.’s Optimal Infrastructure Development, Inc. offered to pay apart from project costs in the scuttled first tender. He added that the arrangements will involve ”a shorter one-stage bidding process where both technical and financial bids will be opened simultaneously.”

The NEDA ICC-CabCom also decided to move forward with an unsolicited proposal for the NLEx-SLEx Connector Road, but rejected the original proponent’s request for a joint venture with state-run Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC).

Last Oct. 29, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. proposed to the Toll Regulatory Board the PNCC joint venture.

The project aims to connect the capital’s two main north and south expressways. It involves the construction and operation and maintenance of a 13.4-kilometer, four-lane elevated expressway which starts in Caloocan City and ends in Buendia, Makati City.

“The NEDA-ICC-CabCom also approved the Tanauan City Public Market project… the first LGU (local government unit) PPP project approved by the ICC-CabCom,” Ms. Canilao said.

“We are hoping this will be replicated by other LGUs aiming to get the private sector to be their partner,” she added.

According to Ms. Canilao, the NEDA ICC-CabCom will meet again on Jan. 14 to take up other projects, such as the Civil Registry System-IT Project (Phase II), North-South Railway Project, and Makati-Pasay-Taguig Mass Transit System Loop.

“We’re hoping that we’ll able to get a NEDA board meeting by the end of January to secure approval for these projects and roll out these projects first quarter or early second quarter of next year,” she added.

Ms. Canilao said PPP Center plans to start the bidding process for the CALAX and the NLEx-SLEx Connector Road in the first quarter of 2015.

The North-South Railway Project, Motor Vehicle Inspection System, Makati-Pasay-Taguig Mass Transit System Loop, and Civil Registry System-IT deals, according to Ms. Canilao, are targeted for rollout in the first or second quarter next year after the approval of NEDA ICC-CabCom and NEDA Board.

The Davao Sasa Port Modernization Project ”could be rolled out before the end of this year or very early next year,” Ms. Canilao added.

Eight PPP projects have been awarded so far by the Aquino government since the late-2010 launch of this flagship infrastructure program.