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PPP Center to focus on execution, ease of implementation – Pecson

(The Philippine Star) - November 25, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The public private partnership (PPP) program under the Duterte administration would be more focused on execution and removal of bureaucratic inefficiencies that hamper collaboration between agencies implementing projects, said newly-installed PPP Center executive director Ferdinand Pecson. 

“We are taking a long-term view. We are not just focused on building the pipeline but we also want to make sure that the delivery of services and the fulfillment of the obligations both by government and private sector actually happen,” he said during the Global Investment Forum in Taguig City yesterday. 

“The PPP Center is very much focused on execution. There has been a change in administration but the reality is the inefficiencies of bureaucracy cannot be eliminated easily,” he added. 

Pecson said he would introduce stricter project management to make sure government agencies and private entities  involved are not operating in silos and are kept abreast of developments. 

“We are going to work with our partner agencies so we are looking at one plan for every project. When we talk about projects, we need to talk about project management. So we need to inject that discipline of managing projects well and we need to do it in a more collaborative manner,” he said. 

He said these are all aimed at ensuring the services are delivered to the public while ensuring good returns for investors. 

In the same business forum, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said even with the government’s massive infrastructure push, the country has a strong absorptive capacity for investments mainly because of the combination of strong economic growth and a low inflation environment. 

He said the Philippines also has ample fiscal space for more infrastructure investments as evidenced by the current deficit-to-GDP ratio of just around one percent against the cap of two percent. 

“We have strong absorptive capacity. The economy is growing, the inflation is very low, there is sufficient demand in the economy. So even if investors are coming in and starting to put up factories and other projects, I think we have the capacity to absorb,” said Guinigundo. 

The PPP program, launched  by the Aquino administration in 2010, aims to attract more private sector investments in public infrastructure through competitive bidding. 

In the five years of implementation, however, it went through terrible birth pains, with slow project approvals and several failed biddings, resulting in only 14 projects being awarded out of the 53 in the pipeline. Cited as bottlenecks were the enormous sizes of the projects  and legal impediments.

Pecson said the center would be working with implementing government agencies in developing the investment policies for the respective economic sectors they regulate. 

For instance, he urges the Department of Transportation to come up with a clear airport policy for taking on various proposals for airport projects. 

“There are numerous proposals for airport projects. And if we just let the market decide, these airport would be competing and in order to attract investments in these projects, we need to determine the future growth in these areas. So that is not yet clear to investors,” he said. 

 

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