Business Columns

The Outsider (Melandrew T. Velasco): More infrastructures for development – RSA

This month, the IRR of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Code will take 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). The government has 185 infrastructure flagship projects under BBM costing p9,143.16 billion. Of these, 45 will be financed through public-private partnerships while the remaining projects 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 explicitly recognizes the role of the private sector in government projects. It declares ‘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 is essential in the economic as well as social transformation of the country. A better transportation infrastructure for instance will facilitate the movement of people and goods. 

Travellers 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 Public-Private Partnership scheme is welcome development with the myriad problems facing the country’s premier international gateway. The current state of the international airport has resulted in inconvenience among travellers, reduced flights and visitor arrivals that affect the country’s economy in the long-run.

Under the PPP concession agreement, the national government is expected to earn about Php36 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. Likewise, runway capacity is expected to increase by at least 48 air traffic movements at per hour.

The NAIA project is the fastest approved PPP proposal in the country to date, showcasing how quickly the government acts on investments even as government meticulously scrutinized and evaluated the proposal.

SMC President and CEO Ramon S. Ang (RSA) is a visionary and is dedicated to help in the country’s development. This can be gleaned in the different projects of SMC. In an article, he was quoted “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. A new passenger terminal is being planned with 50 concourse boarding bridges. According to RSA, it will add 30 percent more space in the existing 1, 2 & 3 terminals.

The rehabilitation project of NAIA is another transportation infra project San Miguel Corporation undertakes for the government. It has completed the Skyway Stage 3 and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX); and is undertaking the MRT 7 and New Manila International Airport in Bulacan.

Another infrastructure project of SMC is the Pangasinan Link Expressway (P-LEX) which broke ground last month. The project is a collaboration between the Provincial Government of Pangasinan and SMC with the funding to be fully shouldered by the latter. Spanning 76.80 kilometers, P-LEX will connect the eastern and western part of Pangasinan. It will also provide direct access to the New Manila International Airport as it will connect TPLEX at the Binalonan exit. Also, P-LEX will boost economic activity in Pangasinan and nearby provinces as it will improve mobility of people, products and services.

RSA said the P-LEX project affirms SMC’s affinity with, and deep commitment to Pangasinan. “We believe in the bigger potential of the province and its people, and that is why we continue to invest here.”

I am one of those elated by the affirmation of multilateral organizations on the strength of our country’s economy. As the country continues it 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 future generations