By ANNA MAE YU LAMENTILLO
In The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) 2018 Infrascope Report, the Philippines ranked second
in the Asia Infrascope Index, “a benchmarking tool that evaluates the capacity of countries to implement sustainable and efficient public-private partnerships (PPPs).” Apart from Thailand, the Philippines was the only country in Asia that was considered “mature” as far as the regulatory environment is concerned.
The Philippines and 18 other countries in Asia were evaluated on 23 indicators and 78 sub-indicators on five main domains, namely Regulations, Institutions, Maturity, Investment & Business Climate, and Financing.
Over-all, the Philippines scored 81. According to the report, all countries, except for Armenia, Papua New Guinea, and Vietnam, support PPPs as a modality in public procurement and have codified procurement policies in accessible formats.
Public-Private Partnerships regulations in the Philippines date back to the 1990’s and have been revised several times to streamline process, increase transparency, and formalize institutional frameworks.
According to the The Economist report, Philippines, alongside China, India, and Thailand have the most PPP experience. Most of the countries have undertaken at most ten PPP projects in the past five years.
According to the PPP Center, there are at least 17 PPP projects in the Philippines under implementation, 15 of which are solicited and two are unsolicited. The total project cost is pegged at P328.67.
These includes the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 Project, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the NAIA Expressway Project, the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway Project, the Cavite-Laguna Expressway Project, the LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension, the MRT Line 7 Project, and the NLEX-SLEX Connector Project.
Moreover, as of April 30, there are at least 41 projects in the pipeline with unsolicited projects outnumbering solicited types. The 27 unsolicited projects currently cost over three trillion pesos in comparison to the 14 solicited projects which are currently at development stage.
Included in the pipeline are the Cavite-Tagaytay-Batangas Expressway, the MRT-11 Project, the Davao International Airport, the Bulacan International Airport Project, the PGH Cancer Center and the Philippine General Hospital in Diliman.
The surge in Public Private Partnerships is a consequence of the Duterte’ administrations resolve to clarify the process relating to unsolicited proposals which at one point encountered issues that are largely bureaucratic and procedural (i.e., feasibility studies submitted without risk allocation or financial model, absence of proposed minimum performance specifications and standards, lack of clarity as to which agencies issue original proponent status, etc.)
The reform on PPP processes is only one of the many factors that have fuelled the sustained economic growth of the country, which in 2018 recorded a GDP (Purchasing Power Parity) of P956 billion and is already considered the world’s 28th largest economy.
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