The Senate Committee on Public Works on Tuesday started discussing various measures seeking to strengthen public-private partnerships (PPPs) to develop the country’s public infrastructure and other projects. Committee chair, Senator Ramon Revilla Jr., said the measures, filed by the senators to support the national government’s ‘Build Better More,’ are also included in the priority legislation mentioned by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July last year. ‘In his message, the President already outlined the direction we should take in amending the law. Batid natin ang kahalagahan ng batas na ito sa pagpapadaloy ng mga serbisyo sa ating mga mamamayan. Ang mga amendments sa (Build-Operate-Transfer) BOT Law ay naglalayong pagtibayin at pagyabungin pa ang mga benepisyo sa ilalim ng nasabing batas (We know the importance of this law in serving our people. The amendments to the BOT Law seek to strengthen and develop the benefits under it,)’ Revilla said during the hearing. Marcos noted in his inaugural SONA that the planned expansion of infrastructure projects would be possible if the private sector continues to participate in the development of government programs. “Public-Private Partnerships or PPPs hold great potential for that expansion, for infrastructure development, and for innovation,” he said. In pushing the amendment of the law, Marcos seeks to address the ambiguities in the existing law, bottlenecks, and challenges affecting the implementation of the PPP Program, and foster a more competitive and enabling environment for PPPs. During the hearing, Revilla emphasized the importance of PPPs and the urgent need to implement the proposed amendments. ‘PPPs are said to be schemes that offer more benefits than risk to our development. With PPPs, projects may be completed sooner. Higit pa rito, may mga proyektong nagiging posible nang dahil sa dito (Apart from this, there are projects that became possible because of this). It turns what seems to be too ambitious into reality. In fact, it is a promising route as we pursue the massive infrastructure development in the country under the ‘Build Better More’ banner,” he said. The pending measures, if consolidated and passed into law, will enhance the government’s ease and reduced the cost of doing business; augmented financial incentives for private partners; straightforward, fair, and systematic governing rules; more transparent and competitive bidding and selection process; more established rules and guidelines on unsolicited proposals; and inclusion of PPP projects by the local government units and local universities and colleges, which are also part of the cross-cutting strategies identified in the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028.
Source: Philippines News Agency