PPP program seen to continue beyond P-Noy’s term
The new head of the Public Private Partnership program said the administration’s cornerstone infrastructure initiative would continue even beyond President Aquino’s term, citing progress made over the last five years, despite early challenges.
Andre Palacios, who became PPP Center executive director starting March 8, 2016, said the next few months would focus on awarding projects now under procurement, as well as getting a law institutionalizing reforms in the program passed by Congress.
“I am confident that whoever will take over will see the wisdom of retaining the PPP Center in its present role,” Palacios said in a press conference on Wednesday.
“They won’t start from scratch. That is the gain for them, they can hit the ground running,” he said.
Palacios replaced the program’s long-serving chief Cosette Canilao this week. He said the PPP Center, whose main role was to coordinate and monitor projects covered by the build operate transfer law, had already “proven its ability to deliver” public infrastructure and services.
The PPP Center and the implementing agencies remain a magnet for criticism, given the delays in bidding out infrastructure deals.
The PPP program has awarded 12 projects, including big-ticket railway, airport and tollroad deals, valued at P200.5 billion over the last five years. Three projects, the Daang Hari-SLEx Link Road, PPP for School Infrastructure Project Phase I, and Automated Fare Collection System, have been finished.
The government expects to finish one more deal, the PPP for School Infrastructure Phase 2, before June since it indicated this week that the Naia Expressway project was delayed and would be completed by November 2016.
As noted, Palacios said the center’s focus would turn to moving projects now under procurement. Data from the PPP Center showed 14 projects with a combined value of P556.56 billion had been rolled out for bidding.
Some of the large items listed are the P65.1-billion Light Rail Transit Line 6, the P122.8-billion Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike, the P170.7-billion North South Railway Project (South Line), the P19-billion Davao Sasa Port Modernization project, and the P18.72-billion New Centennial Water Source- Kaliwa Dam Project.