185 infrastructure projects to take off after PPP rules signing

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star
185 infrastructure projects to take off after PPP rules signing
Workers are seen performing their duties at a constructi site in Taguig on February 7, 2024.
STAR / Ernie Penaredondo

MANILA, Philippines — An estimated P9.14 trillion worth of 185 flagship projects under the administration of President Marcos may soon commence, following the signing of the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 11966 or the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Code, lawmakers said.

Rep. Salvador Pleyto Sr. of Bulacan’s sixth district said the signing will “further accelerate infrastructure development in the country.”

“This will bolster the ‘Build Better More’ program of President Marcos, with the government’s commitment to implement at least 185 flagship projects costing P9.14 trillion, of which (as per report) 45 big-ticket projects shall be financed through PPPs,” he said.

The administration lawmaker, one of the principal authors of the PPP Code in the House of Representatives, said the IRR of the PPP Law would result in a more vibrant economy, with the potential to create thousands of job opportunities across the country.

“This will ultimately redound to the benefit of all Filipinos because these PPP projects are expected to generate jobs for our people and boost our economy, which has been reeling from the more than two-year global pandemic, worsened by inflation and the Ukraine and Israel-Hamas wars.”

The IRR was recently signed by the IRR Committee headed by NEDA director-general Arsenio Balisacan, IRR Committee vice chairman and Finance Secretary Ralph Recto, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual, Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr., CHED chairman Prospero de Vera III, PPP Center executive director Ma. Cynthia Hernandez and private sector representative Ferdinand Tolentino.

Among the other authors of the measure were Pleyto’s fellow engineer, Rep. Romeo Momo of Surigao del Sur, and Reps. Mikee Romero (1Pacman), LRay Villafuerte (Camarines Sur), Gus Tambunting (Paranaque) and Bernadette Herrera (Bagong Henerasyon).

Both Pleyto and Momo were career officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways before they retired and joined local politics in their home provinces.

Rep. Joey Salceda, chairman of the House ways and means committee, said Marcos’ signing into law of the PPP Code will generate more funds needed to fill the country’s “infrastructure investment gap” by as much as P23 trillion.

“The PPP Code is a move toward a rules-based, transparent and efficient PPP framework that will help cover the P23-trillion infrastructure investment gap of the country,” the second district congressman from Albay province remarked.

Manila has been lagging behind its Asian neighbors in terms of foreign direct investments.

Salceda revealed that the PPP Law has been a “pet bill” of Marcos even when he was still a senator, of which he “worked for much of his Senate career.” “It’s a vision he has held on to for much of his political career, so I am very glad that we now have it in law,” he said.

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