Press Release
September 24, 2023

Poe: Improved PPPs to give Pinoys jobs, better infrastructure

Sen. Grace Poe said effective implementation of Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects is the way forward in giving Filipinos better infrastructure projects and opportunities for employment.

Delivering the keynote address in a Stratbase forum, Poe said the Philippines is now on a more solid footing to utilize PPPs in revitalizing infrastructure programs.

"Through PPPs, the government can do more with less. PPPs offer stable funding for capital-intensive infrastructure projects with the promise of efficient and innovative services," the chairperson of the Senate committee on public services said.

Poe said PPPs can provide parallel, if not better, advantages than official development assistance (ODA).

"By requiring value-for-money proposals, the better quality and longer life cycles of PPP projects make it more cost-effective than those solely financed by the national budget or ODA," she added.

The senator acknowledged the government is facing "a taut and tight budget" that leaves little fund to be cut or realigned for capital outlays.

"Funding infrastructure should not be done via taxes or debts alone, as there is a third way, the PPP," she said.

The senator stressed the successful implementation of PPPs rests on having a consistent regulatory framework, and in balancing the interests of all parties concerned, especially the public.

"We need to transform PPPs from a vehicle of mutual interest to a solid pillar in nation-building. The main factor should always be public welfare. Filipinos shouldn't have to choose between affordable and efficient services," she said.

"Infrastructure growth should generate better-paying and higher-quality jobs for Filipinos, not displace our workers," she added.

In giving PPPs fresh push, Poe proposed a streamlined approval process of projects, strengthened project planning, and improved procedures for solicited and unsolicited proposals. Local government units will be capacitated to undertake them.

There shall also be preference for the use of Filipino labor and materials. The government is also called on to ensure that climate resilience and sustainability policies guide the planning and implementation of PPP projects.

Poe said much hope lies on the PPPs in improving transportation and connectivity in the country.

"There is hope that we can finally transform NAIA into a world-class airport through the upcoming modernization project," she said, adding that Filipinos are also awaiting the development of regional airports.

"While we can build on what's been tried and tested, I challenge our private partners here today to also carve out new project areas reflective of our current needs," she added.

Poe called for strong collaboration among government agencies, policy experts, scholars, business sector and foreign chambers of commerce for a robust and transparent environment for infrastructure investments.

"While there are vast opportunities to explore, I must caution that PPPs are not the answer to all our infrastructure needs. There will always be projects better suited for other means. But with the proper planning and the right projects, we can maximize the true potential of PPPs," Poe said.

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