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More PPPs eyed to expand Duterte’s infra pipeline

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 04:03 AM October 26, 2020

With some more public-private partnership (PPP) projects to be rolled out by the country’s tycoons likely expanding President Duterte’s infrastructure pipeline, the government will again undertake a review of the “Build, Build, Build” program next month, the Inquirer has learned.

Secretary Vivencio B. Dizon, presidential adviser on flagship programs and projects, confirmed to the Inquirer last week the upcoming interagency Infrastructure Committee (InfraCom) review which ,he said , would be conducted quarterly.

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November will mark the third month after the National Economic and Development Authority Board approved the current “Build, Build, Build” pipeline of 104 big-ticket projects.

As the government gradually eased quarantine restrictions on construction activities, Dizon said “many” of the infrastructure flagship projects were “on their way to completion.”

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Dizon said the proposed sweeteners to PPP projects—which included longer contract terms and deferment of the government’s revenue share to allow private proponents to recoup their investments amid the hard times—were currently being discussed with the private sector.

“We are confident we can get some of them [PPPs] approved within the year,” Dizon said.

The P4.13-trillion “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure pipeline green-lit by the Neda Board on Aug. 19 included 30 PPP projects worth a total of P1.75 trillion.

The biggest “Build, Build, Build” project was a PPP — conglomerate San Miguel Corp.’s (SMC) P735.7-billion International Airport in Bulacan.

In an Oct. 21 brief, the World Bank said “private sector participation through PPPs has a critical role in reducing the infrastructure gap in the Philippines, especially in sectors that require technical expertise and innovative technologies.”

The Duterte administration previously shunned PPPs as it did not want disadvantageous provisions such as government guarantees, subsidies, and material adverse government action clauses

But as the government and multilateral lenders currently prioritizing financing the fight against the health and socioeconomic ills inflicted by COVID-19, private-funded “new normal” projects in health, information and communications technology (ICT), as well as water infrastructure projects were being sought to help reverse the pandemic-induced economic recession.

The rest of the “Build, Build, Build” flagship projects will be financed through the national budget and official development assistance (ODA) from bilateral partners and multilateral institutions.

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TAGS: Business, public-private partnership (PPP)
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