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Monday, May 20, 2024

More infra for development

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As the country continues its growth momentum, government is committed to foster stronger partnership with the private sector

This month, the Implementing Rules and Regulation of the Public-Private Partnership Code takes effect.

With the PPP and its IRR in place, an enabling environment for the private sector to participate in government projects is strengthened. Hopefully, more from the private sector will be encouraged to collaborate with government especially in its infrastructure projects.

Building on the gains of the previous administration’s Build, Build, Build program, President Marcos Jr. aims to boost the government’s infrastructure initiatives through the Build Better More (BBM), with 185 infrastructure flagship projects costing P9,143.16 billion.

Of these, 45 will be financed through public-private partnerships while the others will be funded either through the General Appropriations Act, Official Development Assistance or through hybrid financial methods.

Big-ticket infrastructure projects require investments that government cannot singly handle.

The PPP Code says: “The State recognizes the indispensable role of the private sector, encourages private enterprise, and provides incentives to needed investments. To this end, the State shall provide an enabling environment for the private sector to mobilize its resources to finance, design, construct, operate, and maintain infrastructure or development projects and services.”

The infrastructure program, essential in the country’s economic and social transformation, will facilitate the movement of people and goods.

Travelers are aware of air traffic congestion and the need for investments to develop, upgrade and improve the country’s airports.

The awarding to San Miguel Corporation-SAP & Co, Consortium for the rehabilitation, operation and maintenance of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport under the PPP scheme is welcome development with the airport problems.

The current state of the airport has resulted in inconvenience among travelers, reduced flights and visitor arrivals that affect the country’s economy.

Under the PPP concession agreement, the national government is expected to earn about P36 billion annually throughout the 25-year concession period.

Aside from the revenue accruing to the government treasury, the modernization of the airport will increase its passenger capacity to 62 million from 35 million passengers annually, with runway capacity expected to increase by at least 48 air traffic movements per hour.

The NAIA project is the fastest approved PPP proposal to date, showcasing how quickly the government acts on investments while meticulously scrutinizing and evaluating the proposal.

SMC President and CEO Ramon S. Ang is a visionary dedicated to help in the country’s development as gleaned SMC’s different projects.

He has been quoted as saying “Ultimately, I would like to be able to leave a legacy that ensures the next generation inherits a Philippines that is not only stronger but also more prosperous.”

He vowed to fix the problems at NAIA, where a new passenger terminal is being planned with 50 concourse boarding bridges, saying this will add 30 percent more space in the existing 1, 2 & 3 terminals.

The rehabilitation project is another transportation infra project SMC undertakes for the government. It has completed the Skyway Stage 3 and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway; and is undertaking the MRT 7 and New Manila International Airport in Bulacan.

Another SMC infrastructure project is the 76.80-kilometer Pangasinan Link Expressway (P-LEX) which broke ground last month.

This is a collaboration between the Provincial Government of Pangasinan and SMC with the funding to be fully shouldered by the latter.

It will also provide direct access to the New Manila International Airport as it will connect TPLEX at the Binalonan exit.

P-LEX will boost economic activity in Pangasinan and nearby provinces as it will improve mobility of people, products and services, with Ang saying this affirms SMC’s affinity with, and deep commitment to Pangasinan.

“We believe in the bigger potential of the province and its people, reason why we continue to invest here.”

As the country continues its growth momentum, government is committed to foster stronger partnership with the private sector whose investments are investments in the future of the country.

Let us work together to sustain what we have achieved and ensure a brighter future for later generations.

(The author, president and executive director of the Million Trees Foundation Inc., a non-profit group advocating tree planting and watershed protection, is a book writer and publisher of biographical and coffee table books.)


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