The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) expects the amended implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the build-operate-transfer (BOT) law to take effect next month.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said the Cabinet-level BOT IRR Committee, chaired by the NEDA, targets the publication of the revised IRR by Sept. 26, and for the measure to take effect on Oct. 11, 2022.

This follows the Cabinet-level BOT IRR Committee approval of the proposed amendments last Sept. 15.

Balisacan said the BOT IRR Committee had deliberated on each of the proposed amendments to determine whether and to what extent these ensure the viability of public-private partnership (PPP) projects and their contribution to the government’s goals.

“We have to ensure that the amendments will address stakeholder concerns on financial viability and bankability of PPP projects,” Balisacan said in a statement.

“Likewise, we need to make sure that ambiguous provisions are revised, as these are risky for the government, given that they can cause delays in the processing and implementation of PPP projects. Lastly, these amendments should be socially beneficial to all parties,” he added.

The Committee also took into consideration the inputs solicited from stakeholders during the face-to-face public consultation held on Sept. 13, which received 91 comments and 213 written comments in total.

Balisacan underscored the importance of approving the proposed amendments, as the IRR would bolster the government’s capabilities in addressing pressing issues such as inflation, poverty, and prolonged socioeconomic scarring from Covid-19 through PPPs.

“The amendments to the IRR would serve to further leverage PPPs in spurring innovation and aiding in the prudent allocation of the government’s resources. This is especially relevant today, given our tight fiscal position,” Balisacan said.

“With more resources freed up, the government can increase its spending on priorities such as health, education, and social protection,” he added.

Meanwhile, Balisacan noted that through PPPs, the private sector could serve as a steadfast partner in areas such as infrastructure development, where there is strong market demand.

“Through this cooperation, we move forward with confidence towards achieving our post-pandemic socioeconomic goals,” said Balisacan.

Following the Committee’s approval, the revised BOT Law IRR will undergo final revisions before being uploaded to the websites of the Committee members by Sept. 19, 2022.

Published September 18, 2022, 9:10 AM
by Chino S. Leyco