PPP Center deputy director Eleazar Ricote and executive director Cosette Canilao
MANILA – Government is set to roll out at least nine public-private partnership (PPP) projects next year with several other projects currently being studied.
Cosette Canilao, executive director of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center, said two of these projects are the P35.4 billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) and the P18 billion NLEX-SLEX connector road.
The contract for the CALAX project was supposed to be awarded this year, but it was delayed following controversy surrounding the disqualification of San Miguel Corp., prompting the Office of the President to order a rebid.
The NLEX-SLEX connector road project, meanwhile, will be subject to a Swiss challenge.
The other projects that will be rolled out include the Motor Vehicle Inspection System, North-South Commuter Railway (South Line), Makati-Pasay-Taguig Mass Transit System Loop (MTSL), Civil Registry System-IT Project (Phase II), Davao Sasa Port Modernization project, Regional Prison Facilities, and the Tanauan City Public Market Redevelopment.
Canilao said the Tanauan market project is the first PPP project involving a local government unit that has been approved by the National Economic and Development Authority-Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC).
Currently, the PPP Center is bidding out 12 projects, the biggest of which is the P123 billion Laguna Lakeshore-Expressway Dike Project.
Another NEDA-ICC meeting will be held on January 14 to discuss other projects in the pipeline. A NEDA Board meeting may also likely be held by the end of January to allow the roll out of several projects as early as the first quarter of 2015.
Canilao said the PPP Center will be focusing on improving its legal and regulatory framework next year to make the PPP program more resilient to challenges.
“We started 2014 with very high hopes. We’re supposed to award several projects right away, but then we encountered challenges along the way. Nonetheless, we were able to overcome the challenges,” she said in a press briefing on Tuesday.
The PPP Center is also pushing for amendments to the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) law or the PPP Act, which Canilao said will “institutionalize all the reforms that we’ve initiated, strengthen the program, and define the processes and mechanisms which we are doing right now.”
Canilao also said the PPP Center will be working closely with implementing agencies to strengthen the framework of contract and project management.
“One of the goals that we want to do next year is also to strengthen the contract management and project management capabilities of implementing agencies, most especially that of the DOTC and the DPWH,” she said.
A PPP portal is also expected to be launched next year to help promote transparency and boost the information exchange between the public and government.
To attract more foreign investors, government is planning to host a roadshow in North America in February. Canilao said Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson and Transportation Secretary Jun Abaya are expected to participate in the event.
“We are hoping that aside from CEOs and investors in New York and Washington, makuha din namin ‘yung Toronto- and Montreal-based investors,” she said.