Dream it, build it

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Friday, August 8, 2014

IT HAS been acknowledged that the lack of infrastructure is why growth in the Philippines has not been inclusive. But despite options that are now available to local governments, there is a lack of awareness among stakeholders.

To push more public-private partnerships, the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) 7 partnered with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) to hold a two-day orientation seminar on public-private partnerships.

Held last Thursday and yesterday, the seminar discussed the country’s PPP policies, the laws on build-operate-transfer, joint venture agreements and a PPP code for local government units. It also dealt with the services of the PPP Center and a manual for local government units (LGUs).


As this developed, the National Competitiveness Council revealed that only Cebu City and Argao from Central Visayas made it into the list of the country’s 10 most competitive communities, in terms of infrastructure.

Top 10 towns, cities in infra

Six of the top 10 cities come from Luzon, and two are from the Visayas. Only two are from Mindanao as well, but these are in the top spots.

Following Davao City and Cagayan de Oro in the top 10 cities list are: 3) Marikina, 4) Makati, 5) Cebu City, 6) Quezon City, 7) Iloilo, 8) Angeles, 9) Pasay and 10) Manila.

Of the top 10 towns, only Argao from Cebu Province made it among the Central Visayas municipalities. Luzon again dominated the list, with seven of the top 10 towns, including the top three. Two of the top towns are in Mindanao.

The top 10 towns in terms of infrastructure are: 1) Daet, Camarines Norte; 2) Rodriguez, Rizal; 3) Paniqui, Tarlac; 4) Argao, Cebu; 5) Nabunturan, Compostela Valley; 6) Taytay, Rizal;

7) General Trias, Cavite; 8) Donsol, Sorsogon; 9) Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon; and 10) Silang, Cavite.

The full list appears on www.competitive.org. (Related story in Top Stories, A1)
During the seminar in Cebu, Neda 7 Assistant Regional Director Ruth Cruz said that even with the PPP Center and the BOT law in place, there is still not enough infrastructure projects being developed. She said they felt the need to orient stakeholders on the options available to them so they can make plans for their own localities and spur growth in those areas.

“Very few have first-hand knowledge of the BOT law and how to go about PPP,” she explained. She added that many LGUs have not explored the option of getting into joint ventures with private companies even if they have the power to do so.

Cruz said local chief executives “with big dreams” for their towns or cities can implement infrastructure projects this way.

They believe there are many in the private sector who are qualified to bid for projects but do not fully understand how to go about the process.

Aside from orienting stakeholders on the policies of such options, Cruz said the seminar also served as a venue for the private sector to network with interested government officials. Among those who attended were representatives of local government units including a few mayors from as far as Siquijor, business owners, civil society leaders and foreign consultants.

Last Thursday, they had certified PPP specialist lawyer Alberto Agra to discuss the definition and modalities of PPP, the Philippine BOT law, joint venture agreements, and the PPP code for LGUs. Yesterday, PPP Center Director Eleazar Ricote discussed the PPP Center’s capacity building services and the PPP manual for LGUs.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 09, 2014.


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