LGUs urged to consider PPP as option for infra, dev’t projects
LOCAL government units in Central Visayas are encouraged to look at public-private partnerships (PPP) to fund some of their projects in their respective areas.
Jomel Gutierrez of the Capacity Building and Knowledge Management Service of PPP Center said aside from LGUs, regional line agencies could also consider PPP as an option, especially if they would have problems getting funds from their respective central offices.
“We want our local implementing agencies to consider PPP as one of their options for their infrastructure and development projects,” Gutierrez said during the launching of the PPP Knowledge Corner at the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) 7 office in Cebu.
According to Gutierrez, the PPP Knowledge Corner is the first in Central Visayas.
It serves as an information hub for LGUs, implementing agencies to know more about how PPP works as well as access services of the PPP Center to help them develop and implement bankable PPP projects.
Neda-7 Regional Director Efren Carreon said they welcomed the opening of the Knowledge Corner, saying there are a lot of PPP projects in the region.
“I personally think that we are one of the regions, if not the number one, where PPP projects are very much alive and kicking. Some are already being implemented and a lot are in the pipeline,” he said.
Carreon said existing personnel from Neda will undergo training and orientation with the PPP Center in order to help LGUs and government agencies who would seek out their opinions on PPP.
Among the PPP projects being implemented in Cebu are the P17.5 billion Terminal 2 of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) which will be opening in June.
Another is the P22.5 billion Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) or the third bridge connecting Mactan Island to mainland Cebu.
The project is a PPP between the LGUs of Cebu City and Cordova and the Manny Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp. (MPTDC).
Regional Development Council (RDC) 7 Chairman Kenneth Cobonpue said he also hoped for more PPP projects in the region.
He said that privately proposed projects often produce better and more efficient projects.
“In a few months, our new airport will open. This will be the most beautiful airport, not because I partly designed it, but it’s the largest wooden-roofed structure in the world. If not for PPP, I don’t think we can ever build this airport,” Cobonpue said.
“If government built this, there will be audit, bidding. No one will be able to think and spend for a structure like that. PPP will play a big role in the golden age of infrastructure pursued by our administration,” he added.
For their part, Cobonpue said the RDC-7 is also looking into PPP to fund projects to solve four of the region’s biggest problems: traffic, flooding, water, and power.
Neda Assistant Secretary Mercedita Sombilla said the PPP Knowledge Corner in Neda-7 is the 10th nationwide.
Sombilla said they hoped to establish at least one in each of the regions in the country.
“The establishment of the PPP knowledge corner in various parts of the country including the one in Central Visayas is geared towards the creation of an information hub that will serve as the coordinating unit between the PPP Center and the LGUs and other implementing agencies,” she said in a speech during the launching.
She added that the Knowledge Corner is also a venue for stakeholders to access accurate and up-to-date information on PPP programs and projects.
Sombilla also said that it would be a means by which LGUs and other local stakeholders would be able to get assistance in identification, formulation, development, and implementation of projects of the government.
“This will serve as the center for generous exchange of knowledge and ideas thus welcoming the greater opportunity to develop and learn about successful and well-structured PPP projects that yield the highest and most sustainable socio-economic benefits for the people of Central Visayas,” Sombilla added.
Public-Private Partnership (PPP) is a contractual agreement between the Government and a private firm targeted towards financing, designing, implementing and operating infrastructure facilities and services that were traditionally provided by the public sector. / CNU Intern Alexandra Mae Bustamante
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