MANILA, Philippines — The government has urged the private sector to boost financing for infrastructure projects as the economy recovers from the financial damage inflicted by the pandemic.

The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center yesterday reported that a total of 63 PPP projects worth $149.9 billion, or around P7.25 trillion, are in the pipeline as of April.

PPP Center director Maria Lerma Advincula said the government needs the private sector’s help in completing infrastructure projects that will hasten the economy’s recovery from the health crisis.

Among the pending projects, 44 are national in scope, worth around $149 billion, while the remaining 19 are local undertaking, amounting to $800 million.

Advincula said the costs may increase depending on the final assessment that should come out from undergoing studies.

She said the PPP Center has awarded 183 projects worth $27.7 billion or roughly P1.33 trillion. Most of the approved projects, or 131, are on the national level, while the remaining 52 are on the local level.

“The Philippine government is able to tap private sector financing in implementing infrastructure development through PPPs,” Advincula said.

Advincula said the infusion of private sector funding would improve the government’s resources in putting up infrastructure projects that should enhance the quality of life nationwide.

She said the Mandanas ruling – which will take effect next year and will expand the functions and increase the revenue of local governments – would allow localities to explore funding options from private partners to develop their respective public infrastructure.

At least 31 of the national PPP projects in the pipeline involve airports, roads, railways, ports and terminals. The remaining 13 are distributed across health (six), government property (five) and informational technology (two).

On the local level, most of the PPP projects consist of state properties (five), water supply and sanitation (four) and solid waste management (three). The rest belong to emerging sectors of tourism, transport, IT, health and renewable energy.

Last week, presidential adviser on flagship programs and projects Vivencio Dizon announced the government plans to complete 29 public infrastructure projects by next year and turn over 28 to the next administration.

In rolling out the infrastructure program, the government has tapped the private sector’s funding and secured loans and grants from foreign sources to bankroll its projects.

Elijah Felice Rosales (The Philippine Star ) – June 25, 2021 – 12:00am