Council okays public-private partnership ordinance-A A +A
Friday, August 24, 2012
AFTER nearly two years, the City Council of Davao finally approved on Thursday the controversial Public-Private Partnership (PPP) ordinance that will pave the way for the implementation of projects and programs under mutual partnership with the city and the private sector.
The ordinance got the council's nod amid opposition from militant groups and some members of the City Council.
Councilor Jimmy Dureza, chair of the council committee on trade and industry and one of the main proponents of the ordinance, said the ordinance will be beneficial to both the city and the public as it is to the private sector.
In Wednesday's regular session, the ordinance passes the second reading where the group Bayan-Southern Mindanao issued a statement denouncing the ordinance and two councilors voted no.
"I cannot understand why they cannot appreciate the advantages of the PPP Ordinance," Dureza said, referring to the groups opposing the passage of the ordinance and to his fellow councilors who did not vote for the approval of the ordinance.
One of the main objectives of the ordinance is to provide rules and guidelines for entering into PPP-related contracts with the city government of Davao.
Dureza said it appeared to him that there are groups and even individuals who fear for the privatization of city-owned enterprises and other state-run companies.
"There's no part of the ordinance that mandates that. If that will happen, I will join you (those who claim that PPP ordinance will promote privatization of state-run companies) in opposing it," Dureza added.
Based on the position paper issued by Bayan last Wednesday, the group said the PPP ordinance will lead to massive privatization of some state run companies that offer vital services to the public.
"Bayan-SMR has warned the members of the SP and the public on the pitfalls of PPP, which is now the centerpiece economic program of the Aquino Administration that encourages various national agencies and local government units to ‘partner’ with the private corporations in various fields of socio-economic development to provide infrastructure and services that were formerly provided by the private sector," the group said.
But Dureza said corporations owned by the National Government will not be covered by the ordinance because it is only limited to all agreements between the city and the interested private parties willing to work with the city in developing, promoting, and enhancing certain programs, projects, and or enterprises.
Malou Monteverde, president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in an interview at the plenary hall Thursday, said the ordinance will promote not only growth and development for Davao City but it also ensures transparency in every partnership.
She said with the creation of the board, which will ensure the transparency of all transactions and agreements, all private groups that are willing to partner with the city will have to pass through the bidding process and other screening agencies of the government.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 24, 2012.