Government open to unsolicited proposals for PPP projects

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The government, which is looking to engage the private sector in infrastructure development under the solicited mode of public-private partnership (PPP) projects, has expressed its openness to unsolicited proposals.

“Ideally, we would want the PPP to consider the solicited, the list of solicited public investment projects and our immediate concern is to expand that list, update it, make it responsive to the private sector and the needs of our country. But at the same time of course, [we are] open to unsolicited to the extent that it does not distort, the unsolicited project does not distort for example the infrastructure roadmap,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.

Solicited projects are those identified by the implementing agency from the list of their priority projects, with the selection of the private proponent done through a public competitive process.

Meanwhile, unsolicited proposals refer to those submitted by a private sector proponent to an implementing agency without a formal solicitation from the government.

Balisacan said he has had discussions with Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno on potential areas for unsolicited PPPs.

Diokno said the operation and management of airports is among those that can be considered to be given to the private sector under a solicited or unsolicited mode.

Balisacan said there is a need to revive and enhance PPPs because of its potential contribution to infrastructure development.

“That will will also sort of ease pressure on our fiscal space so we can have more resources for our social sector, particularly support for health, education and social protection, including agriculture,” he said.

When asked if the government is interested in tapping into the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment recently launched by the US and other G7 countries, to deliver projects to close the infrastructure gap in developing countries, Diokno said they are looking at all possible sources of funding for infrastructure projects.

“We will continue BBB (Build Build Build). So we will consider all possible sources of funding,” he said.

Infrastructure spending as a share of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to continue to be above five percent this year, following last year’s which reached 5.8 percent of GDP.

For 2023 to 2028, the government is aiming to spend five to six percent of GDP for infrastructure annually.

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