PPP Center's Canilao: Include PPP chief in Cabinet

MANILA, Philippines — The head of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center should be part of the Cabinet to provide more thorough updates on all infrastructure deals to the Chief Executive.

This is the recommendation of outgoing PPP Center Executive Director Cosette Canilao on the sidelines of a PPP conference in Makati on Tuesday, February 23.

"The PPP [Center executive director] should be part of the Cabinet. With respect to infrastructure, having PPP Center there would provide necessary information to the President," Canilao told reporters.

"PPP plays a big part in developing infrastructure, it might be necessary to include [the] PPP [head] in the Cabinet," Canilao added.

Canilao had tendered her irrevocable resignation, citing urgent family concerns. President Benigno Aquino III accepted her resignation effective March 8. (READ: PPP Center head Cosette Canilao resigns)

Hit ground running

Canilao said the next administration should adopt what her office has started and hit the ground running with policies and institutional arrangements that are in place to save two to 3 years.

"For us, it took us about that time to really gain momentum. For them, they will save that time period even without the passage of PPP Act of the Philippines," she said.

The proposed PPP Act of the Philippines, which seeks to amend the country’s decades-old Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law, is yet to be passed by the 16th Congress.

Disagreements over allocation of risks, such as right-of-way acquisition and imposition of real property taxes, only serve to lengthen the bidding process and hampers efforts to boost Philippine infrastructure.

"If the PPP Act is passed into law in May, [implementing projects will be] faster. It takes about one-and-a-half to tender, but with a new PPP Act, most likely it will be shorter to one year, less than the average [of] we are doing right now," Canilao said.

From the 7 expected projects to be completed before the end of Aquino administration, the PPP Center dialed down its initial estimate to 5 due to unforeseen delays in the bid and award of some projects.

As of now, 3 PPP projects have been completed: the P2.01-billion ($42.20-million) Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway Link Road or Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway Project; the P1.72-billion ($36.11-million) Automatic Fare Collection System; and the P16.43-billion ($344.99-million) PPP for School Infrastructure Project Phase I.

The PPP Center also expects the P16.4-billion ($344.98-million) Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Expressway Project, and the P3.86-billion ($81.08-million) PPP for School Infrastructure Project Phase II to be completed by April and May, respectively. – Rappler.com