Hybrid PPP to fast-track infra projects, says DOF
The Duterte administration’s “hybrid” mode of implementing public-private partnership (PPP) projects will fast-track infrastructure development under the ambitious “Build, Build, Build” program, as doing so avoids delays due to disputes among private sector proponents, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said.
“We had one PPP project that from conception to the start of implementation, it took 50 months. And one of the reasons is the private sector had a squabble among themselves. Remember the Calax project?” Dominguez said in a statement, referring to the Cavite-Laguna Expressway rolled out by the Aquino administration.
“We are not willing to wait for the private sector to settle their differences. While private companies quarrel among themselves as to who will make the profit, the public suffers from lack of infrastructure. The Duterte administration is willing to take the construction risks and spend budgeted funds to start projects early,” Dominguez said.
According to Dominguez, “the proposed New Clark City in Pampanga is concrete proof that the hybrid PPP mode is faster and more efficient considering that it took the government only 18 months to break ground on the project.”
“We took over in July of 2016. In December this year, we will break ground already for the Clark project,” the finance chief said.
“Had the project gone through the traditional PPP scheme, the private sector lawyers would still have been figuring the liabilities and other details of the project at this time,” he said.
Dominguez also pointed to the Plaridel Bypass Road, which will connect North Luzon Expressway to the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway in Bulacan, another project initially intended for implementation under the traditional PPP mode but was already rolled out by the national government.
“Had we done that with PPP, we’re still negotiating with the private sector now. But Public Works Secretary Mark Villar has started it, and we’ll finish it by next year,” according to Dominguez.
Dominguez had said that “the hybrid PPP mode does not totally shut out private contractors from taking part in the implementation of infrastructure projects as unsolicited proposals are still welcome from the private sector, which, in some instances, would have a better grasp at identifying potential problems and offering better solutions to prospective ventures.”
“The government undertaking the construction of PPP projects would prove cheaper in the long run because the state can borrow at lower rates through grants and concessional loans and later on harness the private sector’s expertise in managing, operating and maintaining such infrastructure projects,” Dominguez had also said.
The Duterte administration early this year unveiled the “Build, Build, Build” program aimed at ushering in “the golden age of infrastructure” after years of neglect.
Under “Build, Build, Build,” the government would roll out 75 flagship, “game-changing” projects, with about half targeted to be finished within President Duterte’s term, alongside plans to spend a total of up to P9 trillion on hard and modern infrastructure until 2022.
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