By: Johnny Dayang
The Senate is now about to pass the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) if it has not done so by the time this column comes out. Together with the administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) scheme, they are expected to usher in the country’s so-called “Golden Era of Infrastructure.”
The PPP, however, needs some fine-tuning, thus a PPP Rationalization bill (HB 788), now pends in Congress. The bills seeks to further enhance the PPP as a tool to attract private sector engagements in big-ticket infrastructure projects that will spur the country’s economic growth. Both the TRAIN and PPP Rationalization measures were conceived and authored by Albay Rep. Joey Saleeda, a noted economist.
Interestingly, Filinvest-RLC-JG Summit Holdings consortium has recently offered to fund and build the P839-billion enhanced Clark International Airport, while San Miguel Corporation-RSA has tendered to build the proposed P700-billion Bulacan Airport under the PPP scheme. Both tenders are unsolicited proposals.
HB 788 seeks to provide clearer parameters on unsolicited proposals, among others, limiting the original proponent status to only one year and compelling the proponent to work on its execution and giving other players a crack at it once it expires. The simpler rules will foster competition among PPP players while protecting public interest, which is what the government needs as a pillar of infrastructure development.
The new Filinvest-RLC-JG Summit Holdings offer, now with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority and the Department of Transportation, is 400% more than its previous proposal for the Clark facility. It also proposes to develop, operate and Clark International Airport’s maintain commercial assets including facilities for general aviation. The San Miguel Corporation-RSA meanwhile, has already obtained an original proponent status for the P700-billion Bulacan Airport project.
Salceda said an enhanced PPP scheme will help accelerate the implementation of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022, under which giant transport and industrial projects are listed. Its enactment into law expected help fund up to R6.3 trillion projects under the Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program.
HB 788 also seeks the creation of a “Risk Management Fund to ensure fiscal sustainability and enhance the ability of implementing agencies (IAs) in the discharge of their contractual obligations.” It also provides necessary “Investment Recovery Schemes” within allowable brackets that are revenue – and availability-based, aside from other non-monetary incentives.