The Philippine public-private partnership (PPP) program remains bullish and supportive of the country’s Build Build Build Program, contributing new PPP projects and offering viable solutions to the recovery efforts of the nation amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For 2020, PPPs posted encouraging progress, expanding its pipeline with 14 new PPP projects. The total number of PPP projects now boasts of 233 projects with 176 projects under implementation amounting to PhP1,289 billion and 57 projects in the pipeline amounting to PhP7,159 billion.

New PPP projects
New to the PPP pipeline are solicited projects such as the Mariveles Mental Wellness Center, Philippine Travel Center Complex, Metro Cebu Expressway, Bicol Medical Center (BMC) Medical Arts Building and Upgrading of Health Services, and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) sa Makati Property Redevelopment.

For unsolicited projects, newly added were the Operation & Maintenance of Francisco B. Reyes Airport and the New Busuanga Airport, New Metro Manila Food and Transport Hub, Tuguegarao City Septage Management, Iloilo Commercial Port Complex and Dumangas Port, and 2 unsolicited proposals under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law namely the Davao Sasa Port Modernization and the Development, Operations, and Maintenance of General Santos Port. These additional projects are currently in various stages of development, evaluation, and approval.

In November 2020, the water districts of San Pablo City, Laguna, and Dolores, Quezon jointly issued a Notice of Award (NOA) to its private partner to build the PhP103 million Lumbo Spring Bulk Water Supply Project with the technical assistance of the PPP Center.

More PPPs
The push for more PPPs echoes the recent policy directive of Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua urging the effective use of PPPs in spurring innovation in the delivery of public services to suit the demand of the new normal.

“We will continue to seek out more efficient ways to deliver our mandate and provide technical assistance to implementing agencies (IAs) as they pursue PPPs both in traditional sectors – transportation and water supply – and emerging sectors – health, IT, solid waste management and climate resiliency sectors,” the PPP Center said.

PDMF-supported projects
As part of its technical assistance to IAs, the PPP Center worked on providing easy access to the Project Development and Monitoring Facility (PDMF) that it manages. The PDMF is a revolving fund that supports pre-feasibility studies, feasibility studies, and other necessary pre-investment activities to help develop bankable PPP projects, as well as assistance in the PPP bidding process and for effective monitoring of PPP project implementation.

Since January 2020, 7 potential projects for PPP have been approved for PDMF support. These are the Ormoc City Water Supply System, Iloilo City Integrated Solid Waste Management Facility, Bislig City Bulk Water Supply and Septage, Kennon Road, Mariveles Wellness Center, NEDA sa Makati Property Redevelopment, and Bicol Medical Center – Medical Arts Building and Upgrading of Health Services. Additional PDMF support has also been approved for the independent consultancy services for the Operation and Maintenance of the Clark International Airport Expansion.

Solicited and unsolicited PPP projects
There are 4 solicited projects under procurement – the Baggao Level III Water Supply, Development and Management of the Club Intramuros Golf Course, Development and Management of the Balicasag Island Dive Resort, and the Road Transport Information Technology Infrastructure (Phase II).

For the unsolicited projects, the Quezon City No Contact Apprehension and the General Santos City Sanitary Landfill are currently under competitive challenge while the competitive challenge for the Quezon City Integrated Solid Waste Management Facility has been concluded.

Under the 2020 PPP pipeline, 38 projects are by national IAs composed of 12 solicited projects and 26 unsolicited projects.

Meanwhile, the PPP Center is also monitoring PPP projects under implementation wherein the national IAs are undertaking 86 projects while 90 projects are by the local IAs.

Local PPP Strategy
With the PPP Center’s continuous efforts to enhance its Local PPP Strategy, local IAs such as local government units (LGUs), state universities and colleges (SUCs), water districts, and special economic zones also sustained strong interest in pursuing PPP projects. There are currently 19 local PPP projects in the pipeline, 12 solicited and 7 unsolicited. These include bulk water supply projects, solid waste management facilities, IT parks, transport, and tourism projects. The Center also developed a framework for appraising draft LGU PPP codes. It serves as a guide for LGUs in crafting their own PPP code, while the PDMF has a specific panel of consulting firms for PPP projects of Local Implementing Entities in support of the Local PPP Strategy.

Intrinsic to the success of the Local PPP Strategy is the PPP Center’s initiatives in providing capacity building support to local IAs that seek to pursue PPP projects. Despite the lockdowns, the PPP Center conducted its capacity building activities on PPP concepts and processes via online/IT platforms. The Center conducted a total of 21 online capacity building activities with 596 participants on different PPP topics along with 5 online workshops on developing project concept notes.

The PPP Center will continue to provide its technical assistance to IAs and build a viable pipeline of PPP projects for 2021. This effort is in collaboration with the private sector as a committed partner working towards the country’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuilding the lives of the Filipino people.