PNoy lauds PPP projects despite delays

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 24 2014 04:04 PM | Updated as of Mar 25 2014 12:04 AM

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino lauded his administration's public private partnership (PPP) projects, despite delays in implementation of some projects.

Aquino thanked businessmen for participating in the PPP projects, during the oath-taking ceremony of the new officers of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) and Anvil Business Club in Malacanang.

"A lot of you have put your money where your mouth is. Notice, for example, the spirited competition that our private-public partnerships have attracted-redounding to a system where government and enterprise can work together to fulfill the promise of our country," he said.

Aquino reiterated his oft-cited example of the connector road between the North and South Luzon Expressways which is set to be built decades after the Marcos administration first proposed it.

"Back in the 70s, the Marcos dictatorship promised an expansive North and South Expressways, and a connection between the two called the Metro Manila Expressway. We all know that this statement was long on promises and short on delivery. But, thanks to the hard work of all stakeholders, expressways that will surpass the promise of the endpoint in Pangasinan and will eventually reach La Union have already opened and will be completed next year. Work has also begun on two connectors between the North and the South Expressways, among other infrastructure projects. In just two more years-40 years after the dictatorship first made that promise-we will see the rise of a North-South connectors," he said.

According to the PPP website, as of March 21, 2014, the Notice of Award has been issued to winning proponents for the following projects: DaangHari - SLEX Link Road; PPP for School Infrastructure Project (Phase I); NAIA Expressway Project; PPP for School Infrastructure Project (Phase II); Modernization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center (MPOC); and Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS),.

Several projects are still in the pre-qualification or bidding stage, such as the Mactan-Cebu International Airport project; Cavite-Laguna Expressway; LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension; and the Integrated Transport System (ITS)-Southwest Terminal Project.

Aquino also urged businessmen to stick to appreciating the bigger picture instead of reacting to all developments in the country.

"While I know that monitoring internal and external developments is an important part of any successful business strategy, perhaps it would be wise to shun a culture of myopia and temper the urge for knee-jerk reactions," he said.

The President again pointed out what he thinks is a disparity between good and bad news about the country's economy as reported by the media.

"Just a couple of weeks ago, Secretary Butch Abad observed that there seems to be a general disconnect between the front page and the business page. How so many business groups are gung-ho about the Philippines, while others just stop short of prophesying doom. You have my gratitude for recognizing and acknowledging the great strides the Philippines has made," he said.