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Australia firms explore PPP projects in Phl

MANILA, Philippines - Several Australian companies have expressed interest in participating in other projects under the government’s public-private partnership (PPP) scheme aside from transportation projects implemented by the Department of Transportation, the PPP Center said yesterday.

The center recently held a roundtable discussion with Australian firms on new developments on the country’s PPP program. The forum also enabled the firms to raise their concerns and provide suggestions for improving the PPP process.

Participants were also briefed on the list of the projects in the pipeline.

Companies that participated in the roundtable include Indra, GHD Philippines, Macquarie Infrastructure, Ashurst, Aurecon, BMD Constructions, Macquarie and ANZ.

“The different companies were interested in PPP projects aside from the transport projects such as airports and mass transits in the pipeline under the Department of Transportation (DOTr),” said PPP Center in a statement in its website yesterday.

“They are keen to participate in PPP projects from various implementing agencies. They also suggest to improve the current PPP bidding process to encourage more competitions and fast-track the PPP projects implementation,” it said.

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There are currently 21 projects in the pipeline that have undergone or are undergoing feasibility studies and are in various stages of procurement. These include airports, railways, seaports, water sources for Metro Manila, prison facilities, a gas pipeline, a dairy industry development project and judiciary infrastructure development.

Around 17 projects have not yet undergone feasibility studies. These include highways, hospitals, schools, power plants, as well as railways and airports.

PPP Center executive director Ferdinand Pecson earlier said allowing greater foreign participation in public infrastructure would become a “change driver” for the country’s public-private partnership program as it would contribute to the efficiency and cost effectiveness of projects.

Foreign investment caps contained in the present Foreign Investment Negative List (FINL) would be placed under review in May.

The list, which was last updated in 2015, limits foreign participation in several areas that include but are not limited to practice of professions; mass media; ownership of land; exploration, development and utilization of natural resources; obtaining franchises for public utilities, telecommunications etc.

The FINL currently allows only up to 40 percent foreign equity in the operation and management of pubic utilities as well as acting as project proponent and facility operator of a build-operate-transfer project requiring a public utilities franchise.






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