Press Release
September 25, 2023

Senate approves PPP bill

With a vote 20 senators present, the Senate on Monday, September 25, 2023 approved on third and final reading Senate Bill No. (SBN) 2233 or An Act Strengthening Public-Private Partnerships (PPP).

SBN 2233, certified as urgent by President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., is expected to be ratified by both Congress on Wednesday, September 27, before its legislative break, said Sen. Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito, sponsor of the measure.

"So, before we go on break, the PPP Act would already be adopted," Ejercito said.

Under the proposed bill, Ejercito emphasized the significant reforms introduced in the PPP framework, drawing from both positive and negative experiences since the enactment of the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) law in the 1990s.

He said these reforms are intended to inspire confidence in potential project proponents and to ensure that the government and implementing agencies can select the most advantageous options.

"We will make sure that the government and the implementing agencies will have a hand in producing the best option possible," he said.

Under the bill, the PPP is a contractual arrangement between the implementing agency and the private proponent for the financing, designing, constructing, operating and maintaining, or any combination thereof, of infrastructure or development projects which are typically provided by the public sector where each party shares in the associated risks.

PPP Projects may also be financed partly from direct government appropriations and/or from official development assistance (ODA) of foreign governments or institutions.

Ejercito, in sponsoring the measure, stressed the need to enhance and reinforce PPP in order for the country to catch up on decades of under-investment in infrastructure projects.

Ejercito said the importance of infrastructure to a country's development and progress cannot be overstated.

"Given the growing economy, archipelagic landscape, expanding population, and rapid urbanization, the Philippines requires intensified infrastructure spending and better selected infrastructure investments to support a higher growth trajectory and improve quality of life in both urban and rural communities," the senator said.

Some of the major reforms introduced in the measure include providing a unified legal framework for all PPP in the national and local levels to create a stable and predictable environment for collaboration between the public and private sectors in infrastructure development, and updating the approval thresholds of national PPP projects.

"Strong and good infrastructures enable trade, businesses, employment opportunities, economic growth and development. This is why it is imperative for us to address our country's infrastructure gap," the deputy majority leader said.

The bill will also provide an updated legal and policy framework for public-private partnership.

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