3 PPPs still awaiting Neda Board OK

By Cai U. Ordinario, Business Mirror

Posted at Jul 05 2011 07:12 AM | Updated as of Jul 05 2011 06:37 PM

MANILA, Philippines - After more than six months, the first five Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Projects have yet to be bid out and three projects have not been confirmed by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Board.

In an interview, Neda Director General Cayetano Paderanga Jr. said two of the remaining three projects set to be bid out in the first half of the year have already been evaluated and approved by the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC); only one other project has not been evaluated.

The Neda Board is the highest policymaking body of the Neda and is chaired by President Aquino. Before projects are bid out, the board must place its stamp of confirmation on projects that have been approved by the ICC.

“Two of the three [projects] are ready; we just need Neda Board [confirmation] and then it can be published [for bidding]. In the other project, the proponent is doing some reestimation. We were ready for it but they asked [to hold it first],” Paderanga said.

Paderanga expressed optimism that the Aquino administration will be able to bid out 10 projects this year. He clarified that the list for the second half will be culled from a choice of seven or more projects.

Paderanga said both the $35.5-million Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway (Slex) Link Road and the $235.33-million Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway Phase 2 have already been approved by the ICC and are being scheduled for confirmation by the Neda Board.

The other project, the $477-million North Luzon Expressway-Slex connector, has not even been evaluated by the ICC, pending some revision on its costs and project details.

“We promised only 10 [projects]. But we are working on several, depending on what project will come first,” Paderanga said partly in Filipino.

All PPP projects are required to go through the interagency ICC’s review and evaluation process. The ICC evaluates and approves programs and projects of national line agencies costing P500 million and above, or will entail a foreign borrowing of at least $5 million.

The ICC is composed of the Finance secretary as chairman; the Neda chief as cochairman; and the Executive secretary, the secretaries of Agriculture, Trade and Industry, Budget and Management and the governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, as members.