THE National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) sees the critical role of public-private partnerships (PPPs) in helping the government achieve inclusive and sustained economic growth.

In his speech as keynote speaker at a luncheon meeting with the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said that through PPPs, the government seeks to tap the private sector’s capacity to provide resources and expertise, as well as ability to undertake projects of significant scale in recognition of the country’s fiscal constraints.

“We recognize the potential of PPPs to upgrade the country’s infrastructure, boost the competitiveness of domestic industries and encourage investments in various sectors that will result in lower prices and improved quality of goods and services,” Balisacan, who also heads NEDA, said.

He also emphasized the crucial role of the private sector in the government’s strategy to achieve its medium-term macroeconomic targets. The priorities are outlined in the Marcos administration’s eight-point socioeconomic agenda, which is the framework that will anchor the 2023-2028 Philippine Development Plan.

“We will utilize PPPs to address the binding constraints to more and higher-quality job creation in the present and future growth drivers, such as the manufacturing, tourism, IT-BPOs (information technology-business process outsourcing) and creative sectors. They will be a significant contributor to the upgrade of the country’s energy, logistics, transportation, telecommunications and water infrastructure,” he said.

These sentiments are in line with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s statements during his first State of the Nation Address, wherein the President stated that PPPs provide great potential for expansion, infrastructure development and innovation.

In line with this, Balisacan said that NEDA, in coordination with other agencies, is seeking a review of the amended Build-Operate-Transfer Law implementing rules and regulations. The review aims to address the private sector’s concerns about the viability of PPPs while upholding the government’s objective of protecting the public interest.

“Rest assured that we are committed to a transparent and participatory process of crafting the rules of the game. We are mindful of how investors’ decisions rely on the predictability of such regulations when envisioning their long-term plans that will require significant amounts of resources such as capital and technical expertise,” he said.

Held at Dusit Thani Manila on Aug. 11, 2022, the ECCP luncheon meeting’s agenda is to discuss the Marcos administration’s socioeconomic priorities. These include avenues for the private sector and the European-Philippine business community to explore collaborative partnerships with the government.

By Eireene Jairee Gomez
August 13, 2022