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Aversion to PPPs ends as 26 private sector-led projects land on new ‘Build, Build, Build’ list

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 05:00 PM November 06, 2019

The Bohol-Panglao International Airport, or the New Bohol Airport, is set to accommodate two million passengers yearly.

The Duterte administration on Wednesday, Nov. 6,  expanded its “Build, Build, Build” list to 100 “flagship” projects with over a fourth of them to be rolled out through public-private partnership (PPP).

One of the PPP projects given the go-signal by the government was the unsolicited proposal from Aboitiz Group to operate and maintain the New Panglao Bohol International Airport, gateway to the one of the Philippines’ most visited tourist destinations.

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Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia told reporters that the Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-Cabcom) and the Cabinet-level Committee on Infrastructure (InfraCom) also approved the following projects—Samal-Davao Bridge, Davao Bus Rapid Transit and Camarines Sur Highway.

Vivencio Dizon, presidential adviser for flagship programs and projects, said the updated Build, Build, Build list now has 26 PPP projects.

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The old list had 75 big-ticket projects with private sector participation in only nine of them.

Dizon, also head of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), said the 100 projects would cost an estimated P4.2 trillion but the entire program’s cost was P8 trillion.

Dizon said also included on the new list are other big-ticket PPP projects like San Miguel Corp’s Bulacan International Airport and a project to upgrade the Ninoy Aquino International Airport by seven of the country’s richest men.

Dizon said the listing of more private sector-led projects meant the government was “not against PPPs as long as contracts are advantageous to the government.”

“PPP projects under the Duterte administration should promote public interest,” said Dizon in a statement.

“In other words, PPP must be for the people,” he said.

“Unfortunately, PPP concession agreements executed in the past failed to promote public interest,” he added.

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Past PPPs tied the government to onerous terms like automatic rate increases, non-interference commitment and no competition clauses which had stripped the government of ability to require concessionaires to improve services, Dizon said.

Ongoing projects are also on the new Build, Build, Build list which Dizon said would be finished during the Duterte administration or “substantially completed” by 2022, the year Duterte steps down.

Some of the other projects on the list are the Metro Manila Subway Project, North-South Commuter Railway, Clark International Airport Expansion Project, Cebu Monorail System, Panay-Guimaras Negros Bridge, Samal Island-Davao City Bridge and the Mindanao Railway Project, said Dizon.

The list could grow longer in the coming days with other projects in the Visayas and Mindanao being added, he said. /TSB

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TAGS: Business, flagship, Infrastructure, NEDA, partnership, planning, PPP, Projects
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