MANILA, Philippines – Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said they intend to erase the backlog in transportation infrastructure in the next 5 to 10 years, to meet the country’s needs in the 10 to 20 years that will follow.
In doing this, he stressed that fairness, openness, and transparency must be upheld in bidding and procurement processes.
DOTC has cornered 28 PPP projects worth P529.41 billion ($12.19 billion*) out of 57 Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects in the pipeline.
The government has so far awarded about P68 billion ($1.56 billion) PPPs, among them are the following:
- Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway Link (P2 billion; $46.04 million)
- PPP for School Infrastructure Project (PSIP) Phase 1 (P8.86 billion; $203.91 million)
- PSIP Phase 2 (P16.28 billion; $374.65 million)
- Philippine Orthopedic Center modernization (P5.98 billion; $137.6 million)
- Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway (P15.52 billion; $357.12 million)
- Automated Fare Collection System (AFCS) (P1.72 billion; $39.59 million)
- Mactan-Cebu International Airport Expansion (P17.5 billion; $402.85 million)
Apart from the AFCS and Mactan airport projects, DOTC is set to award the P65-billion ($1.50 billion) LRT 1 Cavite Extension Project to the Light Rail Manila Consortium led by infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corporation and conglomerate Ayala Corporation.
Abaya said vital in addressing the infrastructure backlog is maintaining the trust of investors in the bidding process.
Like in a romantic relationship, he said a crack in the trust would be difficult to recover from.
“If we do any act or make any decision which would sow distrust or shake investor confidence in our processes and practices, we may lose all potential bidders for our future projects altogether,” he said.
He made this statement following a slew of cases filed by losing and disqualified bidders for PPP projects.
The secretary also expressed gratitude that despite the controversies arising from project biddings, numerous companies – both foreign and local – continue to participate in the government infrastructure projects.
“We take this as a vote of confidence in our work, both in terms of structuring projects, as well as in ensuring fairness, openness, and transparency in our bids.” – Rappler.com
(*$1 = P43.50)