Proposed PPP Code hurdles congress bicam ratification, nears enactment

MANILA – The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center welcomes the ratification of the Bicameral Conference Committee Report on the Disagreeing Provisions of Senate Bill No. 2233 and House Bill No. 6527 or “An Act Providing for the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Code of the Philippines” on September 27, 2023.

In his privilege speech following the Senate ratification of the report, Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, emphasized that both chambers of Congress recognized the game-changing impacts of the landmark legislation which will now be referred to as the “Public-Private Partnership Code of the Philippines.”

“Today marks the culmination of almost two decades of legislating reforms for the public-private partnership framework. This landmark legislation is the realization of our long-standing vision to strengthen the partnership between the public and private sectors, recognizing the indispensable role of the private sector in advancing national development,” Sen. Ejercito said.

“I dare say that this august chamber has successfully put forward the interest of the most important “P” amidst all these public-private partnerships—our People, the Filipino People,” the Senator added. Sen. Ejercito is the bill’s Principal Sponsor and Author in the Senate.

The enactment of the proposed PPP Code will clarify the ambiguities in the existing Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law, which was last amended in 1994.

The Code is expected to further strengthen the partnership between the public and private sectors, recognizing the private sector’s indispensable role in nation-building and sustainable development.

It will further strengthen the government’s PPP Program by consolidating all legal frameworks and creating a unified system that will further enhance private sector participation.

For her part, Deputy Minority Leader Senator Risa Hontiveros highlighted in her manifestation that the achievement of public ends will depend on the solidity of the country’s PPP and joint venture rules.

“I think this PPP law is far from perfect, but it introduces predictability in the procedures and strengthens the accountability of our officials and staff in implementing agencies and oversight agencies,” Sen. Hontiveros said.

Under the reconciled version of the bill, the Senate and House Panels agreed to further enhance the PPP process framework, particularly by (1) clarifying the roles of bodies concerned to ensure that the rules set in the law are upheld; (2) enabling the government to come up with more efficient processes without sacrificing the level of due diligence accorded to each PPP project; and (3) striking a balance between incentivizing private partners to participate in the PPP Program while protecting public interest every step of the way.

Following the ratification of the bicameral conference committee report in the Senate and the House, the proposed PPP Code will now be transmitted to Malacañang for the President’s signature.

The Senate Panel is composed of Sen. Ejercito, Senator Sonny Angara, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Senator Mark Villar, and Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III. On the other hand, the House Panel is led by its Chairperson, Rep. Romeo S. Momo, Sr., together with Rep. Joey Salceda, Rep. Eleandro Jesus Madrona, Rep. Ramon Jolo Revilla III, and Rep. Sergio Dagooc.