MANILA, Philippines – If the Aquino government is able to roll out all the 8 infrastructure projects planned this 2012 under the public-private partnership (PPP) program, the country can achieve its target economic growth of 7% to 8% a year, a finance official said.
On Wednesday, July 18, Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran shared that, based on their estimates, bidding the PPP projects slated this year would increase the pace of economic growth by an additional 2%. The official 2012 economic growth target, measured by gross domestic product (GDP), is 5% to 6%.
“The GDP can have additional two percentage points if all the planned PPP projects are rolled out this year,” Beltran said.
Road and rail
Among the PPP projects set to be rolled out this year is the P15.77-billion NAIA Expressway project, which aims to ease traffic between the Manila international airport and the upcoming Pagcor Entertainment City in Pasay City.
The 4 business groups that will operate casino and entertainment complexes at the Entertainment City are mulling to shoulder half of the cost of the 9.37-kilometer-long road, which will be a Build Transfer and Operate (BTO) project with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
The LRT-1 Extension project is also moving along. Recently, 25 companies have expressed interest in participating in the rail project that aims to connect Manila and areas in Cavite.
Earlier, PPP Center Executive Director Cosette Canilao said the government is on track to hitting its target to bid out eight PPP projects this year. “We are seeing projects being rolled out. We are confident that we will hit our target of 8 projects for 2012.”
The PPP program was launched as a centerpiece of Aquino government’s economic strategy in 2010, and the infrastructure projects under it are supposed to spur spending by the government and private sector — both key components of economic growth.
However, Beltran noted that state spending has also been improving even if most of the PPP projects were delayed due to governance-related checks.
Latest data from the Department of Budget and Management showed that total disbursements amounted to P668.431 billion from January to May, reflecting a 13.1% increase against the same period in 2011. – Rappler.com
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