By Beatrice M. Laforga, November 6, 2019; Business World
Image Credit to Samal LGU as cited by Business World
THE REVISED list of 100 flagship infrastructure projects was approved by the Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CC) and the Cabinet-level Committee on Infrastructure (INFRACOM) yesterday, expanding the list to include private sector-initiated projects while dropping some works due to lack of feasibility.
Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President and CEO and the presidential adviser for flagship programs Vivencio B. Dizon said that of the 100 projects, 26 projects will be financed through private-public partnership (PPP), against the eight such projects included in the previous list, which had only 75 projects overall.
“PPP projects under the Duterte administration should promote public interest. In other words, PPP must be for the people,” Mr. Dizon was quoted as saying in a statement yesterday.
The revised flagship list will cost a combined P4.2 trillion while the entire “Build, Build, Build” program, which is composed of “thousands of infrastructure projects across the country” is worth over P8 trillion.
The flagship projects cover transport and mobility, the top priority; power, water, information and communications technology and urban development and renewal.
Among the projects that were included in the new list are the Metro Manila Subway Project, the North-South Commuter Railway, the Clark International Airport expansion, the Cebu Monorail System, the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge, the Samal Island-Davao City connector bridge, and the Mindanao Rail project.
However, the flagship programs will remain an “evolving list” where projects that are “of national and regional importance,” especially in Visayas and Mindanao, can be included later on.
Mr. Dizon said that “a significant number” of projects will be completed while all of the 100 projects will be started during the current administration.
“Some” projects will be operational by 2022 while the remaining will have to be continued by the next administration.
“Continuity is what is most important for President (Rodrigo R.) Duterte. This is why all of the 100 flagship projects will be started under his term, with a significant number completed while some will be partially operational by 2022. The rest will have significant progress moving into the next administration,” he said.
With more PPP-funded projects, Mr. Dizon said that the government “will not allow disadvantageous provisions” which featured in past projects like automatic rate increases, non-interference undertakings and non-compete clauses.
He said that such provisions were detrimental to the interest of the public, specifically the non-compete clauses which remove the government’s ability “to require concessionaires to improve services.”
“Unfortunately, PPP concession agreements executed in the past failed to promote public interest… Under the Duterte administration, such disadvantageous provisions will not be allowed,” Mr. Dizon said.
Meanwhile, other projects that bagged ICC approval were the Panglao, Bohol International Airport, and a Camarines Sur highway, the Samal-Davao bridge project, and the Davao Bus Rapid Transit project Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said.
Projects approved at ICC level will then be submitted for National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board certification before going through a Swiss challenge.