Press Release
October 15, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged the government to strengthen its partnerships with private organizations in order to improve the quality of education in the country.

Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, said public-private partnerships (PPPs) play a vital role in the delivery of education services to the public such as with teachers training, management, curriculum design and infrastructure development.

The veteran lawmaker stressed, "It increases efficiency and innovation in the delivery of education and at the same time, increases access to good quality education for everyone, especially for poor students in remote, underserved communities."

"In the midst of very comprehensive reforms, such as the K to 12 program, government will need all the support it can get with its objectives of enhancing the country's education system."

Currently, the Department of Education (DepEd) is implementing a Public-Private Partnership for School Infrastructure Project (PSIP), under which two contracts were recently signed for the construction of 9,301 classrooms to be ready for use by June 2013.

The contracts are worth P16.28 billion in total, and were awarded to two consortia - one, represented by the BF Corporation and Riverbanks Development and the second, made up of Citicore Investment Holdings and Megawide Construction Corporation.

Angara, former University of the Philippines President, noted that a majority of the business communities look to the government to foster a closer relationship with the academe. However, the difficulties and shortcomings in policy and fiscal conditions have considerably dampened the interest in such ventures.

To boost private sector investment in the country, Angara filed Senate Bill No. 3090 entitled "An Act Enhancing the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in Infrastructure Development in the Philippines.

"There is a need to revive private sector participation in the financing of various large-scale projects, infrastructure and services, so that the burden of national growth and development can be shared by government and private companies alike," said the veteran lawmaker.

The measure seeks to establish a legal framework that provides for adequate protection of rights and the consistent enforcement of contracts--two conditions that, when fully implemented, are expected to greatly encourage private sector investment. The bill also seeks to uphold competitive bidding as the core of government procurement policy.

"We all want more investors to take part in our projects especially in education sector. It is precisely in view of this that we ought to work to make our country and its laws hospitable to them," said Angara.

"By doing this, we create a fiscal environment that is beneficial to both investors and to the public at large, who are on the receiving end of the services and infrastructure projects that we are undertaking."

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