BDO: Local banks can fund PPP projects

Rappler.com
'Funding PPPs locally will enhance their credibility'

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s biggest bank, Banco de Oro Unibank Inc. (BDO), said Wednesday, May 2, local banks want to be the ones to fund infrastructure projects under the government’s public-private partnership (PPP) program, indicating their “confidence” in them.

“The other banks agree with me we can fund many of these projects locally,” Teresita Sy-Coson, chairman of BDO, said on the sidelines of the first day of Asian Development Bank’s annual meeting in Manila.

She said BDO is preapred to tie up with other banks to raise up to $1 billion to finance the projects.

“The market here is very liquid. We can do a lot of these locally since we can do a syndication of up to $1 billion,” she said, noting this would “enhance credibility of the projects.”

BDO is a unit of SM Investments Corp., which is owned by the country’s richest man and father of Coson, Henry Sy.

Coson reiterated that SM is not interested in bidding for the PPP projects, but only in funding them.

“My role here is to support PPPs, infrastructure, multilateral assistance and government funding. We can work with contractors down the road, the private sector.”

The government is eyeing to roll out 8 to 16 PPP projects this year, including a P60-billion road extension project involving one of Metro Manila’s main railway systems, the Light Rail Transit 1.

Other projects include the P900-million Vaccine Self-Sufficiency Program of the Department of Health, the P25-billion Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System New Water Supply project, the P20.18-billion North Luzon Expressway-South Luzon Expressway Connector Road, the P10.15-billion Mactan Terminal 2 Airport Development, and the P8-billion New Bohol Airport.

Last year, the government targeted to roll out as many as 10 PPPs, but bid out just one — the P2-billion Daang Hari road. – Rappler.com, with reports from Katherine Visconti