Palace eyes more PPPs for infrastructure

The Philippine Star
Palace eyes more PPPs for infrastructure
Workers apply some concrete at a construction site in Parañaque, Metro Manila on June 4, 2022.
AFP / Jam Sta. Rosa

MANILA, Philippines — The government is aiming for more infrastructure projects funded under the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme in 2023 to further boost the economy and create additional jobs, Malacañang said yesterday.

Citing the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)’s accomplishment report, the Office of the Press Secretary said the government also aims to facilitate the development of local PPP projects in priority sectors to prop up the economy and generate employment.

President Marcos made PPP the centerpiece of the country’s economic transformation.

In August, he urged local executives to consider PPP as a mode of financing projects for their constituents.

“I think this is the way forward, and I encourage all our local government units to be open to the possibilities of PPPs and to have private-public partnerships, especially in your areas,” Marcos said during a meeting with members of the League of Cities of the Philippines in Malacañang.

The President also raised the need for a PPP-style system to assist startups and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in growing their businesses.

The MSME sector accounts for more than 99.5 percent of all business establishments in the country based on 2021 figures, providing jobs to over five million Filipinos.

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno had said the PPP scheme was not maximized during the Duterte administration as there were no available projects ready for implementation.

Diokno served as secretary of the Department of Budget and Management under the previous administration and was later appointed by former president Rodrigo Duterte as Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor.

Duterte reportedly signed just six PPPs since 2016, while the late Benigno Aquino III approved a total of 17 during his presidency from 2010 to 2016.

Digitalization will play a big part in PPP, especially in pushing for economic recovery and digital transformation in the Philippines, according to Marcos.

In his first State of the Nation Address last July 27, Marcos bared the government’s bid to increase digital connectivity in the Philippines through the administration’s “BroadBand ng Masa” project.

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