THE National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) will release guidelines for projects funded through public-private partnerships (PPP) after recently issuing a new list of flagship infrastructure programs that had more private participation.
NEDA Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said that with more PPPs included in the revised infrastructure flagship list, the government will be more cautious in issuing state guarantees, subsidies “and other anything to do with material adverse government action (MAGA).”
“For PPPs we want to make sure that PPP projects are going to benefit the people. That is why we don’t want government guarantees, subsidies and other things to do with MAGA,” Mr. Pernia told reporters at a news conference in Pasig City yesterday.
He also said the government is planning to restrict the coverage of the clause to the “executive branch only, judiciary and local governments are not covered by MAGA.”
He noted that the administration is “very restrictive” with PPP projects, noting that it took one year to complete the operations and maintenance (O&M) terms of the Bohol-Panglao International Airport “because it went through so many iterations.”
“Also we want to make sure we do not get sued when we are out of office already. That is the danger when you’re not so careful in dealing with the private sector,” he added.
The revised list of 100 flagship infrastructure projects won approval from the Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) and the Cabinet-level Committee on Infrastructure (INFRACOM) on Wednesday which included 26 more PPP-funded projects and more “small but game-changing” projects while dropping those that were found unfeasible.
The flagship projects cover transport and mobility, which is the top priority; power, water, information and communications technology and urban development and renewal.
Mr. Pernia said that NEDA will release an official statement on guidelines for PPP projects as well as the final list and the criteria used on the projects included in the revised infrastructure flagship program.
In a statement yesterday, NEDA issued more details on the four infrastructure projects the ICC-CabCom approved Wednesday, including the Samal Island-Davao City Connector (SIDC) and the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project (DPTMP), both by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
SIDC will link Davao City and the Island Garden City of Samal will require the construction of a toll-free four-lane bridge with an approximate length of 2.8 kilometers (km).
The permanent road has an estimated total project cost of P23.04 billion and will be financed through official development assistance (ODA).
The connector project can serve about 25,000 vehicles per day, it said, adding that it will reduce travel time and address reliability constraints due to the current conditions of the ferry services in the region.
The DPTMP, which will cost around P18.67 billion be funded by ODA, is expected to provide “attractive, efficient and affordable mode of transport in the Davao City.”
Another project approved was the P9.23 billion Camarines Sur High-Speed Highway project, a 15.21-(km) four-lane highway.
“Lastly, the ICC-CabCom also approved the unsolicited proposal for the operations and maintenance of the New Bohol International Airport under a 25-year concession period,” NEDA said in the statement. — Beatrice M. Laforga
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