On 10 January 2011, Geoffrey Hamilton, chief of section and coordinator on Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), was in Manila to meet representatives of the Government of the Philippines to discuss how the UNECE’s proposed international Centre of Excellence on PPP could assist the country in implementing its PPP strategy in the health sector. Geoffrey Hamilton met with His Excellency Mr. Cesar Purisima, Minister of Finance, His Excellency Dr. Enrique Ona, Minister of Health, Mr. Philamer Torion, Executive Director of the PPP Center, as well as with other Government officials.

UNECE’s intergovernmental Team of Specialists on PPPs (the only body of this kind amongst the United Nations regional commissions) counts non-UNECE member countries such as Japan, the Republic of Korea and Indonesia. Over the ye a r s , UNECE ha s attracted to its hub many exper ts from around the world and most recently Mr. Celso Manangan, Director of the PPP centre in Manila, worked for several months with UNECE’s PPP programme.

The new Government of H.E. President Benigno S. Aquino has given PPP a very strong priority. The country has one of the oldest PPP programmes, stretching back to the early 1990s. Before joining the Government as Minister of Health, Dr. Ona had been Executive Director of the county’s national
kidney and dialysis Center in Manila. In this capacity, he initiated the first PPP – a technology lease contract – for the introduction of the latest dialysis technology to aid those suffering from kidney failure. Now, Dr. Ona wishes to extend PPP to other levels of care in the heath sector including to hospitals and to rural areas, which are poorly served by health professionals. Dr. Ona sees PPP as key tool to allow his
country to offer the level of care that its population requires.

During the meeting, the Philippines Government confirmed their interest in hosting a specialized Centre on PPP in health. Such a centre would be responsible for identifying and maintaining “best practice in PPP with detailed case studies on projects that have worked and project that have not been so successful” and providing support to other countries, especially those getting started in PPP. Under the UNECE initiative on an international Centre of Excellence on PPP, which originates in the longstanding PPP capacity building programme between UNESCAP, UNECE and UNECA, different countries will be responsible for different PPP sectors. Countries like the Philippines can at the same time learn and benefit from UNECE’s extensive expertise and network, while providing useful information on its own experience in PPPs in health to UNECE countries, especially those with economies in transition.

For more information, please contact Geoffrey Hamilton at: