To help address the infrastructure gap worsened by the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center further intensified its efforts to provide technical support to various implementing agencies (IAs) for its PPP projects, resulting in five additional projects in the pipeline. Health and climate-resilient PPP projects are also emerging as more IAs look to PPPs for intervention infrastructure. Work on amending the legal framework of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the BOT Law continues and is targeted for approval early next year.

Added to the PPP pipeline of projects are the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) Clark Tourism Enterprise Zone (TEZ), San Pablo City Water District Septage Management, General Santos Sanitary Landfill, Metro Cebu Expressway, and the Operations and Maintenance of Pasig City Hemodialysis Center. The additional projects are worth PhP22.91 billion. This brings the total number of PPP projects in the pipeline to 63 with a total project cost of PhP7,243 billion. The PPP Center database logs 183 projects under implementation with a total cost of PhP2,295 billion.

The surge in local PPPs

The PPP Center’s Local PPP Strategy continues its upward trend with 19 local PPP projects worth PhP50 billion in the pipeline.

Notable movements in the pipeline include the San Pablo City Water District Septage Management Project that was initiated in June 2021 and is nearing conclusion. The solicited joint venture project undertaken pursuant to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Joint Venture Guidelines recently got three bidders who submitted qualification and bidding documents.

Another is the Iloilo City Slaughterhouse Project whose Invitation to Bid was published in September 2021. Iloilo City aims to tap the private sector for the rehabilitation, operation, and maintenance of the facility to increase production capacity and secure accreditation.

Meanwhile, the competitive challenge for the Tuguegarao City Septage Management Project, an unsolicited PPP project, is also nearing completion. The project involves the financing, design, construction, development, and operation of Tuguegarao City’s septage management system and related infrastructure.

The Local PPP Strategy includes a set of interventions that seeks to complement the devolution of certain functions of the executive branch to local governments under Executive Order No. 138. In implementing this, the Center conducted 50 online capacity-building activities (OCBAs), 15 of which are part of the roster of capacity building activities offered by the Center for the year.

More PPP health and climate-resiliency projects

With the threat of COVID-19 still present, IAs continue to tap PPPs for their health projects.

The University of the Philippines (UP) Philippine General Hospital (PGH) Manila Cancer Center Project and UP PGH Diliman Project are in the advanced stages of the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) approval process. Once approved, bidding for these critical health infrastructure projects may commence in the early quarters of 2022. Two regional hospitals of the Department of Health (DOH), the Cagayan Valley Medical Center and the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, were submitted to the ICC for review and approval. The DOH health projects include the development, operations, and maintenance of hemodialysis centers, including the provision of equipment. The conduct of the feasibility study for the Mariveles Mental Wellness Center Project commenced this year and is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of next year.

Meanwhile, the recent devastation caused by Typhoon Odette to the country’s vulnerable coastal areas underscored the need for climate-resilient infrastructure. PPPs provide these local coastal communities a viable alternative to building climate-resilient responsive projects that can help protect lives and property. This year, the PPP Center ramped up its efforts to partner and collaborate with the Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund (UCCRTF), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to deliver effective project development and implementation of PPPs that promote resilience in physical infrastructure, particularly at the local level.

The PPP Center and the DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau signed a memorandum of agreement to ensure that the use of protected areas in developing PPPs is consistent with the principles of biological diversity and sustainable development. On the resiliency front, the PPP Center and the DENR are collaborating on the Risk Resiliency Program (RRP). The RRP is DENR’s program for selected climate-vulnerable local government units (LGUs), composed of provinces and major urban areas which aim to integrate climate change and disaster risk reduction in preparing their resilience roadmap and Investment Portfolios for Risk Resilience (IPRRs) into their infrastructure projects.

Amending the BOT law IRR

Work on improving the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the decades-old Build Operate and Transfer Law continues, with the PPP Center acting as the Secretariat of the BOT Law IRR Committee — an inter-agency body currently working on the amendments to the BOT Law IRR. The amendment will facilitate the development of well-structured PPPs that deliver high-quality services to the people. Stakeholder consultations will be conducted in January 2022. The BOT IRR Committee will then convene for the third time to approve the proposed amended IRR. The last amendment to the BOT IRR was made in 2012.