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The House is calling for the ratification of the bicameral report on PPP.

15th May 2018

On May 15, 2018, the House of Representatives

The report from the Bicameral Conference Committee has been released, which resolves conflicting sections of a bill aimed at increasing private sector involvement in government infrastructure projects.

The House rescinded its approval just after 5 p.m. and appointed additional congressmen to the committee. The report was ratified by Congressmen after midnight.

Laarni Lavin Roque, the representative of Bukidnon, called for a review of the decision made without providing a justification during the plenary session. Jose Ma. Clemente S. Salceda, the representative from Albay who advocated for the measure’s approval, did not respond immediately to a Viber message requesting a comment.

The Senate reappointed its delegates to the joint committee, which will reconvene to examine the combined report.

The Senate Majority Floor Leader, Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva, requested that Senate President Juan Miguel F. Zubiri select senators for the bicameral committee.

The draft of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Code aims to guarantee a process of “openness, fairness, transparency, and competitiveness” for selecting private investments in PPP projects, as stated in a version of the joint report.

The proposed legislation aims to alleviate obstacles and difficulties in the PPP process and enhance the structure for unsolicited project proposals.

According to a statement made earlier in the day by Mr. Salceda, senators and congressmen have decided to turn the PPP law into a code during a conference. This will allow for future amendments to be made to the code instead of being scattered.

The proposed code will cover all contracts between a state agency and its private partner to finance, design, construct, operate and maintain infrastructure or development projects and services.

Public-private partnership projects can also receive funding from the government or through foreign governments’ official development assistance (ODA).

Official Development Assistance (ODA) will involve the use of mixed funding, in which the government, bilateral or multilateral agency, or international or multilateral lending institution can attract financial support from private or commercial organizations for a loan or gift.

The suggested code will encompass joint ventures, agreements for toll construction, operation and maintenance, and lease agreements.

This will not be applicable to government procurement projects covered by the Government Procurement Reform Act, contracts for management and services, divestments or disposals, corporatization, establishment of subsidiaries with private sector investment, donations either with or without compensation, and joint venture agreements that are solely for commercial purposes.

and financial aspects

When creating a PPP project, a government entity must take into account the legal, technical, and financial and commercial feasibility of the project; the value for money of the project; optimal risk allocation; affordability of fees and tariffs; climate resilience and sustainability; and social and environmental safeguards.

According to the legislation, national projects funded through PPP that amount to P15 billion or more must be authorized by the Investment Coordination Committee of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), while those with a lower cost must be authorized by the head of the agency.

Approval by local councils is required for PPP projects at the local level.

The leader of a PPP project agency will establish a committee responsible for overseeing all pre-bidding and bidding procedures for requested proposals or the comparison process for unsolicited proposals. The agency head will then review the final contract.

The proposed legislation aims to establish a PPP governing body responsible for overseeing policies concerning public-private partnerships.

The NEDA secretary will lead the board, with the Finance secretary serving as vice chairman.

The Commission on Audit plans to release regulations for auditing PPP ventures.

The PPP bill was approved by the Senate on September 25, and the House passed its corresponding measure in December 2022.

As of September 1st, there were a total of 104 PPP projects in progress with a combined value of approximately P2.521 trillion ($44.3 billion). The Department of Finance reports that there are also 180 projects currently being carried out, with a total value of P2.639 trillion. – Reported by Beatriz Marie D. Cruz and John Victor D. Ordoñez