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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

ADB: Government can attract more private capital for projects

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Incheon, South Korea—The Asian Development Bank (ADB) believes there is room to attract more Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the Philippines amid an increase in demand for private sector financing.

In a briefing on Thursday, ADB Principal Public-Private Partnership Specialist Ichiro Aoki said what is important right now is to ensure that projects in the country—or any country for that matter—remain bankable.

Aoki said this is where ADB’s work comes in. By providing advisory services for a number of PPP projects in the Philippines and other developing member countries, ADB is communicating to investors that it is committed to seeing these projects through and are worth their investment.

“[On the] thinning of private capital, I think it’s not going to be the case because investors are everywhere. There are stronger private sector investors in the Philippines, there are a lot more that are interested in this market from international markets,” Aoki said.

“What’s important is to develop investor’s confidence in each PPP market. We have to showcase successful PPP models so that everyone is confident to invest in projects,” he added.

During the briefing, ADB Head of the Office of PPPs Cleo Kawawaki said their PPP pipeline in the Philippines is one of the “most hectic” as the biggest project they are currently undertaking is in the Philippines—the operation and maintenance of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“In the Philippines we have one of the most hectic pipelines and we are very, very honored to be entrusted with these big projects,” Kawawaki said.

“Even if you spend billions and billions of dollars on rails or light rails or even for airports, if its not operated correctly, you’d lose all your investment,” she also said on why operation and maintenance (O&M) is important for projects.

Kawawaki said ADB also has in its PPP lineup in the country the operation and maintenance of Malolos-Clark railway project which will ensure a seamless link from Clark International Airport to Calamba, Laguna.

She also said the list includes the O&M of the North-South Commuter Railway connecting Metro Manila and Calamba, located in Laguna Province around 50 kilometers south of Manila. The ADB is also taking a look at a number of the MRT rail projects in the country as well.

Earlier, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Board granted approval of the revised Joint Venture (JV) guidelines which aims to contribute to the government’s push for more PPPs.

The provisions in the revised guidelines are aligned with the amended Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law and the proposed amendments to the BOT Law or PPP Act.

The amendments include safeguard provisions aimed at promoting the pooling of resources and expertise between government and private entities through JVs as a viable, efficient, and practical alternative for achieving the development goals of the government.

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