“Philippine-Australia PPP Policy Dialogue”
ARSENIO M. BALISACAN
Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning
National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)
14 August 2015
Colleagues from the Philippine Government (Sec. Cesar Purisima; Sec. Rogelio Singson; Cong. Ronald Cosalan; National Treasurer Roberto Tan; Commissioner Alberto Lina, BOC; Undersecretary and PPP Center Executive Director Cosette Canilao; Usec. Catalina Cabral, DPWH; Usec. Laura Pascua, DBM; Usec. Luz Cantor, DBM; Usec. Dara Acusar, DBM; Usec. Edwin Lopez, DOTC; Usec. Antonio Gallardo, PLLO-Senate), partners from the Australian Government (led by Mr. Anthony Weymouth, Australian Trade Commission), Local Government officials from the Province of Cebu, guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen — good morning.
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the first Philippine-Australia PPP Policy Dialogue in the country, following the discussion last May 2015 in Melbourne, Australia to conduct a similar activity for the benefit of larger number of government agencies involved in the PPP processes.
The Philippine PPP program has come a long way in terms of developing a robust pipeline of bankable PPP projects while ensuring that they are supported by policy reforms and facilitative processes for greater efficiency.
We currently have more than 50 active PPP projects with an estimated investment value of USD 23 billion. Ten (10) PPP contracts have also been successfully awarded to the private sector with a total amount of USD 4.20 billion (PHP 189.02 billion). We are now simultaneously tendering 14 projects valued at USD 11.51 billion (PHP 518.28 billion), and several other projects are ready for roll-out and waiting for the approval of the NEDA Board. Some projects are also in various stages of project preparation and conceptualization.
In the recent Infrascope 2014 study, the Philippines was recognized as the most improved country in the Asia-Pacific for PPP readiness. We were ranked number seven among the 21 countries that were part of the study. From being an “emerging” PPP market in 2011 we have joined the “developed” PPP markets group alongside countries like Republic of Korea, Japan, and India. This is attributed mainly to the country’s improved PPP regulatory and institutional framework.
For the past five years, the PPP Center has been working with various agencies to institute policy reforms, streamline processes, and adopt good practices to further enhance the PPP framework and boost private sector interest and confidence in the country.
I am proud to say that we now have a sound PPP investment environment founded on the principles of transparency and level playing field.
The challenge for us now is how to sustain the gains and successes of our PPP Program. Thus, we are pushing for the enactment of the PPP Act or Amendments to the Revised Build-Operate-and-Transfer (BOT) Law that will embed in our systems the earlier reforms we have initiated. We are also seeking to amend the law on Right of Way Acquisition (ROWA) to address infrastructure bottlenecks and delays in project implementation.
We are privileged to be joined today by various PPP practitioners and experts from Australia, a country regarded to have the most mature and advanced PPP market. This is an opportunity for us to learn from how the Australian PPP program was able to sustain their infrastructure program over the years. There is a wide range of interesting topics that will be shared today based on Australian PPP experience. This includes Australia’s PPP legal and institutional framework, the role of the government in promoting PPPs, successful bidding practices, PPP financing options, to mention a few. These are valuable inputs to us as we further improve our own PPP program.
Before I end, allow me to express my sincere appreciation to the men and women of the PPP Center for making this Policy Dialogue possible, and for your unwavering commitment to fostering PPPs as an effective way to accelerate delivery of critical infrastructure and development projects in the country. I would also like to thank the Australian Government for its continued support in strengthening the Philippine PPP Program and I hope that you also learn from our experience.
I am inviting everyone to actively participate in today’s discussions. Let us take this opportunity to further solidify our PPP framework and to work together towards building adequate and efficient infrastructure for the current and future generations.
Thank you and a pleasant day to all!
– END –