Tuesday, 1 March 2011

State to fund PPP projects’ right-of-way

By Katrina Mennen A. Valdez
Manila Times

THE Aquino administration has assured potential participants of the public-private partnership (PPP) initiative that the government is willing to augment its budget for land development, easement and other right of way requirements to facilitate priority projects.

Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Cesar Purisima told reporters that investors qualifying for any of the government’s projects need not worry about the horizontal development and easement requirements, as the budget for these were included in this year’s General Appropriations Act.
“We have an allotment for that on the budget, and we are willing to adjust certain budget parameters to speed up the priority projects,” Purisima said.

“We can either use the national government or a GOCC [government-owned or -controlled corporations],” he added.

The government plans to tap National Development Co. (NDC) to provide financing for the PPP program, in accordance with the state-owned firm’s original role as the government’s investment arm.

“NDC has other programs that generate revenues. We can likewise tap that for land development and easement requirements to help out investors in so far as PPP projects are concerned,” Purisima said.
The government has reserved about P15 billion of its P1.645-trillion budget this year for PPP-related projects.

“We’re also looking at reclamation areas. This is only at my level. We still have to make a presentation to President [Benigno Aquino 3rd].

But really, that’s another area of opportunity for fund raising, PPP development,” the finance chief said.

Next week, the government would inaugurate the PPP Center and would showcase its new website featuring the first five projects that will be offered for bidding.

Purisima said the first bidding would likely take place in April. “If we’re lucky, maybe late March there will be some already,” he said.

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