DOF Applauds Progress and Collaborative Efforts
Timelines and Evaluation at the Core of PPP Act
In a significant stride towards enhancing the nation’s infrastructure landscape, the Department of Finance (DOF) has applauded the Senate’s progress in advancing Senate Bill No. 2233, known as the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Act. The proposed legislation, which has cleared its second reading, holds the promise of streamlining PPP proposal processes and establishing clear timelines.
DOF Secretary Benjamin Diokno expressed his gratitude, saying,
“I thank our good sponsor Senator Joseph Ejercito, as well as Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, for working to pass this critical piece of legislation.”
He emphasized the collaborative efforts of the DOF, the National Economic and Development Authority, and the PPP Center in shaping a stable and predictable PPP policy environment conducive to the development of high-quality, cost-effective infrastructure in the country.
A Presidential Priority for December Passage
Meeting President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s Requests
The Public-Private Partnership Act stands among the 20 priority measures requested by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. for passage in December. Its successful advancement to the second reading at the Senate signifies the conclusion of the deliberation and amendment phase, clearing the path for its anticipated passage on the third and final reading.
Unifying Legal Frameworks for Public-Private Partnership Act Projects
A Unified System for Investors
One of the primary objectives of the proposed legislation is to consolidate existing legal frameworks into a unified system, thereby offering investors a comprehensive reference point for engaging in PPP projects. This simplification is intended to significantly facilitate a more effective and streamlined PPP approval process.
Elevating Approval Threshold and Removing Limitations
Significant Changes to Proposal Approvals
One notable aspect of the Public-Private Partnership Act is the increase in the approval threshold for projects requiring the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board’s endorsement, now set at PHP15 billion.
The legislation also abolishes the “first-in-time” limitation for unsolicited proposals. This change empowers the government to concurrently evaluate proposals for the same project, enabling the selection of the most suitable candidate for project award.
Safeguards, Penalties, and Presidential Reforms
Ensuring Accountability and Efficiency
The proposed measure thoughtfully incorporates safeguards and penal provisions, aiming to bolster accountability and ensure strict adherence to established processes.
Furthermore, within the first year of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s administration, significant reforms have already been implemented, effectively enhancing PPP guidelines and procedures. These reforms prioritize the expedited approval of projects, strengthen transparency and accountability, enhance the bankability of PPP projects for private partners, and ensure efficient risk allocation between the government and the private sector.
Accelerated Infrastructure Development
Impressive Progress Since the Start of the President’s Term
As a testament to these reforms, Secretary Diokno highlighted that four PPP proposals, with a combined project cost of PHP212.8 billion (approximately USD3.8 billion), have received approval since the onset of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s term.
The government has identified 197 priority infrastructure flagship projects, totaling about USD155 billion, with at least 39 set to be financed through PPPs.
The significant advancement of the PPP Act unmistakably underscores the government’s unwavering commitment to fostering a more conducive environment for private sector engagement in infrastructure development, ultimately propelling the nation towards even greater progress, economic prosperity, and sustainable growth.