October 30, 2022
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation said it was actively pursuing Public-Private Partnership agreements to help finance and fast-track big-ticket transport infrastructure projects facing financial constraints.
At a luncheon before the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista said that these would eventually fund projects like the EDSA Busway, a network of seaports, 10 provincial airports, and the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit, among others.
"Allow me to emphasize the need to undertake crucial transport infrastructure projects in collaboration with the private sector, including foreign financial and technical assistance. Some big ticket projects have encountered limited budget allocations from the national government. We are therefore actively pursuing a public-private partnership to complete projects," Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista said.
He also pointed to San Miguel Corp. was already a private partner in the construction of the New Manila Airport in Bulacan and MRT-7, which he said were currently being constructed at a rapid pace.
"We therefore plan to invite as many private sector participation in our infrastructure projects, such as the privatization of the EDSA Carousel, the operation of our seaports, the privatization of ten provincial airports, the Cebu Bus Rapid Transport Project, the improvement of the Manila International Airport, and many more," he said.
Bautista said recent amendments made in the implementing rules and regulations of the Build-Operate-Transfer law provide a “balanced sharing between the government and private sector.”
"The PPP Projects will not be disadvantageous to Filipinos by providing a balanced sharing of risks between government and the private sector project proponents while allowing reasonable rates of return on investments, incentives, support and undertakings," he asserted.
Bautista also confirmed that he met with Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian to restart talks for the funding of three major projects: North-South Commuter Railway, the Subic-Clark Railway, and the Mindanao Railway stretching from Tagum, Davao, and Digos.
China was originally supposed to fund those projects under the Duterte administration, but they eventually had to be put on hold after Beijing never responded to its Filipino counterparts.