No big increase in PPP projects

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The public-private partnership (PPP) center said on Wednesday that five of the total 45 PPP projects lined up will be finished before the end of the Aquino administration in the middle of 2016.

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The five projects mentioned by PPP Executive Director Cosette Canilao are the: Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) Link Road; Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Expressway; School Infrastructure Project Phase 1; and the Modernization of Philippine Orthopedic Centers.

Canilao said that other than the five projects, the agency is also looking at wrapping up the bidding process of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport and the Integrated Transport Systems (ITS), which will provide public utility vehicle terminals at the outskirts of Manila to allow easy access and transport within the metropolis.

“For the [projects]we already bid out and the ones we will bid out next year, height of the construction will be around 2015 to 2016,” Canilao told reporters at the sidelines of the 8th Philippine Capital Markets Forum.

“[Throughout the later part of the administration,] PPP approval processes will be faster. In the next three years, hopefully, we can bid out other projects in the pipeline for the procurement of transaction advisers,” she added.

The PPP executive director also said that all of the aforementioned projects to be pushed forward will be continuous with the “height of construction” of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 Cavite Extension project. But Canilao added that the LRT project may not to be finished within the current administration.

She noted that once the ITS project bidding will be finished soon, the PPP Center is confident that the project will catch up with the five projects to be finished within 2016, because the ITS project can be “rolled out and finished immediately.”

According to Canilao, the agency is also looking at standardizing bidding documents to make it easier for bidders to absorb the project, which will result in faster processing and project movements.

“For the remaining term, hopefully the [process and construction]will advance, and we’re looking at standardizing bid documents, for bidders to know what to expect from the projects,” Canilao said.

For financing of the projects, the PPP executive director said that “there is no problem” and that a lot of local and foreign institutions and development banks such as the Asian Development Bank, World Bank and Cities for Development Initiatives for Asia, among others, are interested.

“For now, there is no need [for financial assistance]because the local market is awashed with domestic liquidity, but at some point, we need to start thinking about project bonds for capital markets. Maybe after 15 concessions,” Canilao said.

She added that companies and institutions in Europe and Asia have expressed interest in the country’s PPP projects.

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