The Asiamoney Philippines Credit, Bonds, and Project Finance Discussion Forum
Introductory Remarks
by Executive Director Cosette Canilao
The Peninsula Manila, Makati City
July 8, 2014

Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon!

It is my pleasure to welcome all of you in today’s discussion forum on Philippines Credit, Bonds, and Project Finance sponsored by The Asiamoney. On behalf of all the organizers who made this event possible, thank you very much for taking time to attend this event.

Today, our discussion topics are quite timely and relevant. Featuring two (2) keynote addresses and three (3) roundtable sessions with very interesting set of panelists coming from various organizations here and abroad. This forum is a promising venue to discuss infrastructure financing and the many opportunities under it.

In the Philippines, project finance is the backbone of the government’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Program—one of the identified strategies to accelerate infrastructure development in the country.

When the Program was launched three (3) years ago, we noted the business community’s strong anticipation of investment opportunities. With much pressure and high expectations from various stakeholders, it was surely not an easy task.

The next three years after the launch was a frenzied period of doing various activities – of laying down foundations and framework, policy adjustments, and introducing new initiatives to streamline processes.

Thankfully, all the efforts are starting to pay off. We now have a robust pipeline of bankable PPP projects worth over USD 20 billion.

With this, I dare say that now is the best time to further discuss and explore PPPs and project finance in the Philippines. We are in a scenario where all systems are moving forward, yet still continuously evolving to improve the status quo.

On one hand, for instance, the PPP Center had just accredited new consultants and advisors under our Project Development and Monitoring Facility (PDMF) scheme. This new panel, composed of more consulting firms highly renowned for their PPP and sector expertise, is expected to help develop a sustainable deal flow of bigger PPP projects in the coming years. On the other hand, we also worked on a better PPP appraisal process to ensure timely approval of projects for tender.

Recognizing private sector’s technical efficiency and expertise, PPP projects undergo various consultation sessions all throughout the project development and auction process. We intend to continue this to assist the line agencies in structuring viable and bankable projects.

All these initiatives we have undertaken in the past years, we plan to institutionalize through our proposed amendments to the BOT Law or the PPP Act. From our end, this shall ensure that the successes we have achieved now shall be sustained even past this administration.

As our partners, it would be worthwhile to listen about your issues and concerns with respect to our PPP projects. An assessment of the local banks’ capacity to undertake project finance and a series of dialogues such as this may also be pursued to increase the market’s interest and appreciation for PPPs.

With all of you present here, I am confident that this session is going to be a very fruitful collaboration. I call on everyone to actively participate in the discussions. Your knowledge, experience, and expertise on the topics will be much appreciated. We are here to listen and openly discuss how we can improve what we have now.

At this point, allow me to congratulate Asiamoney and all the people behind this successful event. This is a testament to your organization’s commitment to delivering “comprehensive services to the Asian capital markets”. We likewise thank you for giving us a chance to be part of this endeavor.

Indeed, the financial community’s continued support and interest in the Philippines is truly one of the solid foundations that drive private sector participation towards our shared goal of inclusive growth.

I encourage all of you to explore the opportunities we have in our portfolio. We are truly open for business now.

Thank you very much and a pleasant day to all.