Longer challenge period seen good for PH

Longer challenge period seen good for PH

The longer comparative challenge period for unsolicited bids under the new Public-Private Partnership (PPP) code will allow “more compelling” rivaling proposals, a move that is seen to bode well for the country’s infrastructure drive, according to think tank Infrawatch PH.

The new PPP law, whose implementing rules and regulations were recently signed, extends the comparative challenge period to 90 days to one year from just 60 days previously.

A comparative challenge is being conducted to invite other proposals that can rival the offer by the holder of an original proponent status (OPS), which is issued after the implementing agency accepts the proposed project.


The OPS holder is then allowed to match counter offers during the process. If no better offer is filed, the original proponent will emerge the winner.


An unsolicited bidding process means the contract package of the infrastructure project is proposed by a private sector proponent while the solicited one is initiated by the government.

“The new schedule affords comparative challenge participants more time to submit a more compelling challenge based on substantial, financial and legal grounds,” Infrawatch PH convener Terry Ridon told the Inquirer.

“The new law allows the government to extract maximum value from the private sector’s participation in flagship development projects, as long as implementing agencies maintain full transparency and accountability, and foster competition between private sector proponents,” he added.

Right now, the P12.75-billion Laguindingan International Airport project is among the big-ticket infrastructure proposals undergoing a comparative challenge under the new rules.

The airport project seeks to improve connectivity to northern Mindanao, which includes Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte, Bukidnon and Camiguin, among others. The deliverables include initial terminal expansion and refurbishment of the existing terminal and enhancement or development of airside facilities to scale flight operations.

Previously, PPP Center of the Philippines deputy executive director Jeffrey Manalo also said the new PPP code mandates that all unsolicited proposals be submitted first to the agency for completeness check. The agency, he said, has 10 days to do so. Doing so would reduce the delay in processing the project proposal, he said.


With the project reviewed by the PPP Center, Manalo said the local government units or other implementing agencies could then decide whether to pursue the proposal.

Ridon, meanwhile, also lauded the provision that streamlines the approving agencies for projects based on costing thresholds.

For example, the approval of the implementing agencies for national PPPs is required for projects costing below P15 billion. Beyond this amount, the National Economic and Development Authority will have to greenlight the project.

“The streamlining of approving authorities based on project cost effectively cuts the processing times of less expensive PPPs to 90 days from the receipt of implementing agencies of complete PPP documents for review and approval,” he explained.

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PPP Center deputy executive director Eleazar Ricote earlier said they have 109 projects in the pipeline worth P2.4 trillion. These include water supply facilities, hospital and health centers, airport and toll road projects.

TAGS: Business, Infrastructure

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