Aquino urged to fast track various PPP projects

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014


AN ADMINISTRATION lawmaker on Tuesday urged President Benigno Aquino III to speed-up the execution of various public-private partnership (PPP) projects, after a recent study done by a prominent international firm noted the lack of adequate transport infrastructure in the country,

Valenzuela City Representative Sherwin Gatchalian said the government should continue the momentum by fast-tracking the PPPs without sacrificing fair play and government protection.

"The backlog in our PPP projects is definitely holding back progress," Gatchalian said.

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The lawmaker cited a recent report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) on the lack of adequate transport infrastructure in the country.

"The shortcomings are the most severe in the airport (105th) and port (107th) infrastructure. To make things worse, the availability and quality of associated logistics services remains largely insufficient (84th)," the WEF report stated.

The Philippines moved up eight notches to the 64th spot out of 138 countries, but still lagged behind other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) namely Singapore (1st), Malaysia (25th), Thailand (57th), and Indonesia (58th).

Gatchalian added that the report examines the quality of a country's institutions as well as its policies and services, which enable the free flow of goods over borders.

The lawmaker noted out that based on data from the Public-Private Partnership Center, "only three projects out of 53 -- the MRT Line 7, the Skyway Stage 3 project, and the NLEx-SLEx Connector Road -- are for implementation while only six projects have completed the phase of contract awarding as of March 31. Eleven projects are still being conceptualized."

"What is taking our PPP projects so long? Which part of the PPP process needs to be improved so the whole process can be sped up?" Gatchalian asked.

The lawmaker added that stepping up the processing of such projects will boost economic growth as good and sufficient infrastructure draws foreign direct investments.

"Addressing the backlog in our PPP projects will help stimulate further economic activities… adequate infrastructure attracts foreign direct investors because it ensures the timely delivery of goods and services," Gatchalian said. (Sunnex)

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