MANILA - Private businesses can still take part in infrastructure projects even if the government has made room for funding from foreign aid, the head of the Public Private Partnership Center said Thursday.
The number of projects in the PPP Center's pipeline was reduced to 35 from 53 last year, as the new government under President Rodrigo Duterte switched to a "hybrid" of private sector and official development assistance or ODA financing.
Private companies can only bid for the operations and maintenance of infrastructure projects under the "hybrid" set-up while the structures are built by government.
"Many have been asking maybe there aren't any PPP projects left. So I felt compelled to say that, and tell people the PPP very much there, private sector will always be playing significant role in nation building," said PPP Center executive director Ferdinand Pecson.
Pecson said the government was in a position to tap low-interest debt from foreign aid agencies.
"Because you have to adjust to the changing circumstances, the circumstance provides a lot of fiscal space today that we didn't have before," he said.
Aside from projects on the government's list, 2 other unsolicited proposals are being evaluated: a railway from the University of the Philippines-Diliman campus in Quezon City to Quiapo in downtown Manila and a flood control and expressway projects in Manila Bay.
The railway was proposed by A Brown and Malaysia's MTD Alloy while the second proposal was from San Miguel Corp and New San Jose Builders.