• PH flagship program gets $2M boost from ADB, Japan

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    Manila-based lender Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan will offer a $2-million technical assistance (TA) grant to help the Philippine government strengthen its appraisal process for public-private partnerships (PPPs) as the country’s pipeline of projects grows.

    In a statement released on Friday, the ADB said that the technical assistance will help the Philippines attain its goals of improving the country’s infrastructure and social services.

    “Public-private partnerships are increasingly helping the government of the Philippines meet its goals for reducing the country’s infrastructure gap and boosting facilities for the provision of social services such as education and healthcare,” said Aziz Haydarov, PPP specialist in ADB’s Southeast Asia Department.

    The ADB noted growth in the pipeline of PPP projects from 11 projects in November 2011 to 51 in January 2014. Projects including four expressways, two classrooms, one light rail, and one hospital have been awarded, with an estimated investment value of $3.4 billion.

    In 2013, the government said it planned to increase public infrastructure investments to 5 percent of gross domestic product in 2016, to bring the Philippines on par with the regional average.

    Six PPP projects, also worth $3.4 billion, are currently in the bidding stage, with another four projects worth $1.4 billion still in the approval process. Another 20 projects are under preparation while 13 are under conceptualization.

    The ADB said that to continue building a robust pipeline, the Philippine government has asked for the $2 million technical assistance, funded by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction and administered by ADB. The grant aims to strengthen the capacity and systems of the National Economic and Development Authority in the appraisal of PPP projects prior to government approval.

    It is also intended to help the Department of Finance in the sustainable management of fiscal cost, including contingent liabilities, arising from a growing PPP project portfolio.

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