Government eyes local projects for PPP mode

The government is seeking to identify various projects at the local level that can be pursued through the public-private partnership (PPP) mode, with an eye on opportunities they can create for private sector partners.

Adoracion Navarro, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary for Regional Development, said there are already ongoing PPP project developments, such as the Cebu City Solid Waste Management Project.

Navarro bared that the Pampanga Bulk Water Supply Project will be up for negotiation; while the Cagayan de Oro Septage Management Project and Baggao Water Supply Project are for procurement.

She said the NEDA, particularly its regional offices, and the PPP Center, will then screen the list of projects included in the Regional Development Investment Program (RDIP) in 15 regions.

“We will check which of these (projects) can be pursued as PPPs so that will create opportunities for our private sector partners to go to the regions,” she told the media on Wednesday.

The NEDA and PPP Center early this year signed a memorandum of agreement to jointly establish PPP Knowledge Corners in 15 NEDA regional offices, aimed at supporting government efforts to implement PPP projects at the local level.

“We have actually launched almost all PPP Knowledge Corners, except for one, NEDA Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon). The reception of stakeholders in the region is very positive,” Navarro said.

The knowledge corners serve as information hubs on PPPs, where local government units (LGUs), government implementing agencies and other stakeholders can get accurate and updated information and knowledge on PPPs, including access to all PPP Center services to help them develop and implement bankable PPP projects.

NEDA also has regional offices in the Cordillera region, Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), Bicol region, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao region, Soccsksargen (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City), and Caraga region.

Navarro added that the government is planning to hold PPP fora across the country wherein concerned agencies will explain which among the identified priority projects in the RDIP can be potential PPPs “so that kind of creation of opportunities (for PPPs) will happen.”

Under the 2017-2022 Public Investment Program, the NEDA has identified some 4,490 infrastructure programs/activities/projects, many of which are located in the regions.