Foreign investors eye NAIA, LRT projects under PPP

By Iris C. Gonzales, The Philippine Star

Posted at Sep 18 2012 09:52 AM | Updated as of Sep 18 2012 08:38 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign investors have expressed interest in participating in the Aquino administration’s public-private partnership (PPP) for infrastructure, the head of the PPP Center said yesterday.

Cosette Canilao, executive director of the government’s PPP Center said two PPP projects have caught the interest of Chinese, British and several Japanese investors.

"They have expressed interest in the NAIA and LRT projects," Canilao said in a press conference after yesterday’s mid-year Philippine Economic Briefing.

The PPP Center is preparing to bid out the $1.4-billion LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension and Operations and Management contract as well as the $377.5-million Ninoy Aquino Expressway Phase II road project.

The two projects are part of the eight PPP projects, which the government has targeted to roll out this year.

Canilao said the government is on track to rolling out all eight projects this year.

For his part, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said PPP projects are expected to roll out at a faster pace now that the government has already cleared bottlenecks. “We’ll launch at least eight projects this year. We’ve resolved most of the bottlenecks already,” Purisima said.

So far, the government was able to bid out the Daang Hari Project and the $239 million-worth PPP For School Infrastructure Project Phase I.

Of the planned eight, three PPP projects are still waiting for the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board approval. These include the $466.8 million Cavite-Laguna Expressway, the $128.3 million-worth Modernization of Philippine Orthopedic Center and the $11.3 million Vaccine Self-Sufficiency Project Phase II.

Two projects, meanwhile, are also up for review by the Investment Coordination Committee. These include the $480.5-million North Luzon Expressway-South Luzon Expressway Connector and the $38.1 million O&M of the Angat Hydro-Electric Powerplant Turbines 4 and 5.

In 2010, the Aquino administration launched its PPP program as its flagship project for infrastructure investments, saying that this would help spur economic growth without burdening the fiscal health that much.