The government’s cabinet-level review committee has approved yesterday the proposed revision to the 2022 Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the amended Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law, according to the country’s socioeconomic planning chief.

“We see public private partnerships (PPPs) in infrastructure and development initiatives as pivotal to the rapid transformation of the Philippine economy,” Arsenio Balisacan, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) secretary, said in a social media post yesterday.

“Today’s approval by the cabinet-level BOT IRR review committee of the revised IRR is a significant step moving forward,” he added.

Specifically, NEDA said, the amendments aim to address stakeholder concerns on the financial viability and bankability of PPP projects and clarify ambiguous provisions that could cause delays in the PPP process.

A public consultation was held earlier this week on the proposed amendments to the IRR.

NEDA said the government remains committed to transparency and participatory processes through active stakeholder engagement for PPPs.

“This is to ensure the right balance between public and private interests in PPP policies and projects that will contribute to post-pandemic economic transformation,” NEDA said.

In light of the tighter fiscal space that it faces, the Marcos administration seeks to utilize PPPs to address the country’s most binding constraints to investments and job creation in key sectors of the economy.

In particular, PPPs are seen as a crucial mode of financing infrastructure projects in energy, transportation and logistics, information technology and water.

Aside from upgrading infrastructure, Balisacan earlier said that PPPs are expected to boost the competitiveness of domestic industries, and further encourage investments in various sectors that will lower prices and improve the quality of goods and services.

“In particular, we expect the infrastructure push to support present and future growth drivers such as manufacturing, tourism, information technology-business process outsourcing and creative sectors. We will utilize PPPs to upgrade our land, energy, logistics, transportation, telecommunications and water infrastructure,” Balisacan said.

Balisacan’s presentation last month showed that there are already 198 existing PPP projects that have already been awarded, while 71 more remains in the pipeline.

By Angela Celis -September 16, 2022