The University of the Philippines (UP) and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center, with the support of Sycip Gorres Velayo & Co. (SGV) through the Project Monitoring and Development Facility conducted a Market Sounding Webinar for the UPLB Agro-Industrial and Information Technology Parks Project on June 7, 2021 via Microsoft Teams and Facebook Live.
In her opening message, Dr. Elvira Zamora, VP for Development of the University of the Philippines System highlighted how the project, popularized in the university as “Agri-Futura Project,” was incepted with the vision to form strong academe-industry linkages and stimulate agro-industrial and information technology development in the immediate vicinity of UPLB’s Special-Economic Zone (SEZ). With Agri-Futura, industries will have an ideal place for collaboration with the different academic units of UPLB specializing in various macro and micro-biological plant and animal sciences as well as technological innovation.
This was followed by the welcome remarks from the PPP Center Deputy Executive Director, Mia Mary G. Sebastian wherein she lauded the UP initiative to explore innovation with the private sector through PPP to optimize the value of SEZ within the UP Los Baños campus and discussed how PPPs work in achieving economic recovery and resiliency and what has the country achieved so far in rolling-out PPP projects.
The transaction advisor, SGV, shared an overview of the project based on the ongoing feasibility study focusing on the indicative site development plan, development schedule, economic overview, market profile and locator preferences, followed by the proposed project structure, financial and key investment highlights.
The event was concluded by Dr. Jose V. Camacho, Jr., Chancellor of University of the Philippines – Los Baños, highlighting the support that the Project has garnered from the Department of Agriculture (DA) when it was presented to Sec. William Dar and his key advisors where the DA recognized the potential that the Project has in ensuring food security in the CALABARZON Region.
The Project will involve the development of an agro-industrial park and information technology park through the establishment of a world-class academic, research, and community support facilities which would enable the conduct of collaboration, scholarly exchanges, and scientific innovation.
The market sounding webinar sought to:
- Provide a brief background and envisioned scope of the Project to the potential private sector participants;
- Gauge the interest of the private sector to partner with UP for undertaking the Project as a PPP;
- Determine the level of interest, capability, and experience of the private sector to undertake the Project;
- Identify potential issues or problems that may affect the Project, particularly its viability;
- Obtain insights from the private sector, including developers, locators, operators, lending and banking institutions, on how to make the Project more attractive and bankable; and
- Understand key considerations of the private sector regarding their potential involvement in the Project in partnership with UP.
The insights gathered from this activity will form part of the feasibility analysis and the assessment of the appropriate delivery models for the Project. Once project development activities are completed and necessary approvals are secured, the tender process is targeted to commence in early 2022.
The webinar was attended by over 70 participants from the PPPC, UP, SGV, and the private sector. The livestreamed event is available through the PPP Center’s official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PPPCenter.Philippines.