Empowering Local Implementing Agencies with PPP Partners
Local implementing agencies (IAs) play a crucial role in the successful implementation of public-private partnership (PPP) infrastructure and development projects in the Philippines. Building the institutional readiness of local IAs such as local government units (LGUs), water districts, and state universities and colleges (SUCs) to roll out PPP projects is one of the main responsibilities of the PPP Center as the driver of PPP Program in the country.
The PPP Center has been rolling out capacity building programs for local IAs to empower and equip them on PPPs. The agency has also assisted LGUs in developing their own PPP Code, identifying viable PPP projects, drafting PPP project concept notes, and in all stages of the PPP process. For instance, the Center provided focused technical assistance and advisory services to the Municipality of Baggao in Cagayan Province for its water supply PPP project and the Quezon City Government for its Integrated Solid Waste Management Facility Project. There are other local IAs that the Center is providing technical support too, namely, Provincial Government of Pampanga (two bulk water supply projects), General Santos City (public market), Cebu City (solid waste management project), and Cagayan de Oro Water District (septage management project).
But all these forms of assistance that the Center provides are also made possible by the strong support given by the different development partners. With their commitment, the Philippine PPP Program has become a sustainable government program that contributes to the socio-economic development of the country.
One of the PPP partners of the government is the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Through the ADB Capacity Development Technical Assistance (CDTA) 7796: Strengthening Public Private Partnerships, the PPP Center was able to launch its Local PPP Strategy. This Strategy outlines the agency’s initiative to promote the role of local IAs in addressing the infrastructure gap in the Philippines.
The CDTA also helped in implementing several capacity building initiatives for the PPP Center to improve its service delivery to local IAs with the aid of highly competent and capable experts in infrastructure and development fields. Most recently, in the case of the Baggao water project, a technical consultant has been hired to support the Center in providing the LGU the technical assistance it needs for this PPP project.
This year, the Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA) started its technical assistance to the PPP Center in developing a capacity building program on joint venture arrangements (JVAs) for LGUs. Since October, three Regional Orientation-Workshops on PPPs: Joint Venture Arrangements have been implemented, where over 20 LGUs participated from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. It also co-organized two PPP workshops for LGUs on concept note development and financial modeling. A Partners Event was also initiated with CDIA to gather inputs from partners and other stakeholders to support the Center’s Local Strategy and to boost local PPPs in the country.
In addition, the CDIA is currently helping the Center in developing a guidebook for LGUs, which will be a valuable resource material for local IAs in implementing PPP projects in their communities. The guidebook consists of lessons learned, best practices, and actual experiences of other local IAs in PPPs and the Center’s journey in facilitating the PPP Program to the local level.
The League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) has also thrown their weight behind the PPP Program to encourage more LGUs in exploring PPP as one of their infrastructure development strategies. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Center and LCP parties to cement this partnership. One major project that the institutions collaborated on was the PPP Stakeholder’s Consultation in General Santos City. This was a vital undertaking because the Center was able to gather inputs, suggestions, and recommendations from different LGUs in Mindanao on how to further improve the implementation of the PPP Program.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) also played an important role in the success of the Philippine PPP Program. Through the JICA assistance, an identification tool for local PPP projects has been developed and was piloted in the City Government of Iloilo. The project screening and prioritization tool for LGUs examines the local development directions and priority sectors from the region all the way to the city/municipality level, reviews appropriate funding plans for the sectoral projects, and then screens the projects. JICA was also able to develop a proof of concept for the water and wastewater treatment plant, a prioritized PPP project under the tool, to determine its viable scope and features.
Another important PPP partner is the World Bank (WB). Through the WB’s Water and Sanitation Program, a Toolkit for Water and Sanitation PPPs for LGUs and Water Districts has been launched to promote standardization of project development process.
Government partners also significantly contribute in advocating PPPs all over the country. One of these partners is the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). Through the DILG’s Public-Private Partnership for the People Initiative for Local Governments (LGU P4), more LGUs have shown interest in looking at PPPs to deliver infrastructure and development projects. The LGU P4 serves as a vehicle for private sector participation in the provision of infrastructure and social services that will be carried out by the local sectors.
The DILG collaborated with the PPP Center in conducting various regional LGU P4 conferences and workshops. It also allocated funds to LGUs that were willing to develop and implement their own PPP projects. The Quezon City Government was the first recipient of this funding support.
The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and the Center also share a common objective of assisting local IAs in Mindanao in identifying and implementing infrastructure and development projects to be undertaken through PPPs. Under this partnership, over 30 local IAs were capacitated on PPPs.
The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) is another government organization that supported the Center’s local PPP initiatives through delivering training programs for LGUs on PPPs. The Introductory Course on PPPs for LGUs has been rolled out to several LGUs. Since 2017, 19 LGUs have been capacitated through this program.
The development partners’ support, expertise, efforts, and resources have been instrumental in establishing the foundation and continuous success of the Philippine PPP Program. Their trust to the country’s PPP implementation paved the way in creating a healthy, competitive, and transparent PPP environment that entices foreign and local investors participation. They will continue to play a pivotal role in advancing PPPs in the local level to spread its benefits in providing reliable, quality, and efficient services to the Filipino people.
Dionne Marga M. Larin
Capacity Building Division