Message of Secretary Cayetano W. Paderanga:
During the LGU Public-Private Partnership Forum for Visayas and Mindanao 

[Delivered at Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center, Iloilo City, on March 26, 2012]

Honorable Jesse Robredo, Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government; Mr. Trevor James Lewis, Deputy Head of Mission, British Embassy Manila; Cosette V. Canilao, Executive Director Public-Private Partnership Center; Honorable Peter B. Miguel, M.D., Mayor of Koronadal City; Honorable Benjamin D. C. Abalos Jr., Mayor of Mandaluyong City; Honorable Vicente Y. Emano, Mayor of Cagayan de Oro City; Mr. Alberto Morales, Chairman and CEO of Geodata Solutions Inc. who is here to talk about the Koronadal ICT Project and Malabon Digital Infrastructure Project.

Distinguished guests, fellow workers in government, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Maayong aga!

We mark today’s gathering as a milestone for public-private partnership, or PPP, in the Philippines, not only because it brings together an impressive line-up of speakers and resource persons who will be sharing with us their inspiring experiences on PPP, but mainly because of the significant interest and support that our local governments have shown for the President’s flagship program.

I would like to thank DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, who has been a valuable partner since the launching of the PPP program. Through the DILG’s Local Development Councils, PPP Sub-committees were formed and have proven to be indispensable in championing PPP at the local level. Today, we see an expanding interest in using PPP for our local infrastructure projects. The PPP Center has been deluged with queries and requests for trainings for our local government executives on the PPP process.

Today’s gathering becomes more significant to us because we are launching the PPP Manual for Local Government Units. Through the efforts of the PPP Center and with the generous support of our sponsors and partners, the Manual has been reviewed and updated to make it more relevant and more accessible to all our local government executives who intend to use PPP as an alternative mode of undertaking their infrastructure projects.

Copies of the Manual will be distributed later to all participants. You can also view it at the PPP Center’s website Please promote this Manual. Talk about it and share the good news with the other executives not present here today. We would like to see the use of this Manual spread like wildfire across the nation. It is our hope that with the information provided in the manual, more PPP projects, not only for economic infrastructure like transport, energy, and irrigation infrastructure, but also social infrastructure projects like schools and hospitals can be accommodated to benefit those who need them the most.

Let us forge ahead with our collective vision by putting into operation our development agenda within the principle of inclusive growth for the Philippines.

Government has been constantly advocating that one of the drivers of economic growth is a strong infrastructure industry.

Given this direction, government released P141.8 billion for infrastructure projects under the enacted General Appropriations Act of 2012. This is part of the P1182.2 billion total outlay for government infrastructure under the 2012 national budget. This is 25.6 percent higher than the 2011 allocation and represents 1.6 percent of the country’s GDP compared to the 1.4 percent of last year.

Despite this increase, government spending will certainly not be nearly enough to make up for the deficiency in infrastructure spending.

The government is thus promoting broader participation of the private sector in developing and taking on infrastructure projects in partnership with government, not only through investments but also implementation of the projects, operations and maintenance.

In the context of this strategy, local governments are considered a major player by developing and implementing its own infrastructure projects using public-private partnerships as an alternative scheme.

Now is the time to take advantage of the positive conditions of our financial standing in the global financial community. We are currently enjoying improved ratings from international financial institutions. Our peso is much stronger, we have lower interest rates, and we have enhanced our long-term peso-bond market. This makes us very attractive to financial institutions that are willing to lend longer for housing and infrastructure financing. With this keen interest from the private sector, financial institutions and the banking sector, local governments are now afforded with the opportunity to jumpstart its own infrastructure projects.

This in turn will boost the competitiveness of our productive sectors and generate massive employment for our fellow citizens.

Our job however, does not stop there. We can only make public-private partnerships a qualified success if we undertake projects through transparent and responsive governance, as emphasized by the President in his Social Contract with the Filipino People.

This mandate of good governance also falls squarely on the shoulders of our local government executives who have committed to serve our people.

Public-private partnerships should be used as a tool to attain inclusive growth for all Filipinos. Good governance is the overarching principle, which we will use to guide our decisions and actions in undertaking our strategies for development.

For our actions to have a positive transformative impact on the lives of those we lead, good governance is imperative.

There is no room for fraudulent transactions, exploitation or duplicitous maneuverings. Public-private partnerships are built upon the foundations of transparency, trust, and accountability. This is the only way this can succeed.

The private sector is willing to extend a helping hand. Let us accept this, but with the conviction that all transactions will be done with integrity and honor.

The opportunity is here to seize. We must grab the opportunity to make a difference in the lives for all Filipinos.

I encourage you to study and use the manual. Get the necessary information and trainings on the process that you need to go through to undertake projects using PPP. The PPP Center is here to guide you. We are, as we say, open for business and ready to serve your needs.

Thank you very much and a pleasant day to all.