Amendments to the 2022 Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law were approved by the Cabinet-level BOT IRR Committee in a meeting held Thursday, September 15, 2022 at the Department of Finance in Manila.
Socio-economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan and Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno lauded the measure as an important milestone in the Marcos administration. The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Finance (DOF) serve as Chair and Co-Chair, respectively, of the BOT Law IRR Committee.
Secretary Balisacan said that the amendments to the IRR will allow government to leverage PPPs and “better direct resources in other critical areas of development, governance, including social protection measures.”
Similarly, Secretary Diokno expressed that the amended IRR will be crucial in the Philippines’ bid to unlock the many benefits of PPPs. “This strategy will be the cornerstone of our economic recovery,” he said during the Committee meeting.
The PPP Center, which serves as member of and secretariat to the BOT IRR Committee, stressed that the amendments aim to promote transparency and accountability in delivering infrastructure projects and push for appropriate risk sharing between the government and the private sector. Its ratification shall ensure that all parties to PPP contracts are capable to implement their respective contractual obligations while, at the same time, uphold the interests and welfare of Filipinos.
The approved 2022 Revised IRR was the result of inter-agency meetings and of a public consultation.
Following concerns raised by the private sector regarding the April 2022 iteration of the 2022 BOT Law IRR, inter-agency technical meetings among the BOT IRR Committee member were conducted to come up with proposed revisions to the rules. On September 13, 2022, all stakeholders and interested parties were invited to provide comments and inputs on the proposed amendments to the 2022 IRR of the BOT Law in a public consultation held at the Asian Development Bank headquarters in Mandaluyong City.
According to Secretary Balisacan, the conduct of such a public consultation intended to “address the stakeholders’ concerns on the financial viability and bankability of PPP projects, as well as to clarify ambiguous provisions that could cause delay in the processing of PPP projects.”
Following Committee approval of the amendments to the 2022 IRR of the BOT Law, the Committee targets the publication of the amendments by September 26, and for the measure to be effective by October 11, 2022.
Prior to official publication, and as committed during the public consultation, a copy of the 2022 IRR showing the changes made shall be posted in the NEDA, DOF, and PPP Center websites. It shall be made available by September 19, 2022 for information of the general public.