The Duterte administration seeks to amend the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the build-operate-transfer (BOT) law.
To pursue the amendments of the BOT IRR, President Rodrigo R. Duterte designated Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua as the chairman of the BOT IRR Committee.
This committee is composed of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the Departments of Finance, Agriculture, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources, Information and Communications, Interior and Local Government, Public Works and Highways, Trade and Industry, and Transportation, and the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center.
The amendments aim to facilitate the development of well-structured PPPs that deliver high-quality services to the people, protect the public from excessive payments and undue guarantees arising from PPP projects, and promote the interests of Filipinos, who ultimately pay for the costs and returns of private proponents of PPP projects.
“PPPs have the potential to help stimulate the economy, bring back jobs, and address our people’s urgent, present, and future needs. However, it is the government’s job, on behalf of the Filipino people, to ensure that private sector interests are aligned to the public’s interests, with the overall goal of providing the best services to the people,” Chua said.
Chua said PPPs with unwarranted guarantees, contingent liabilities, and other onerous contract provisions take up the government’s already-limited fiscal space and hamper the country’s development.
These use up resources that could have been used to build other infrastructure or provide social services for the people.
“As PPPs are paid for by the public, the IRR should enable the provision of quality infrastructure and services that are delivered in a timely and cost-effective manner,” PPP Center executive director Ferdinand Pecson said.
Finance Secretary and Investment Coordination Committee chair Carlos Dominguez emphasized the need for transparent and expeditious processes in evaluating PPPs to arrive at their real cost to the government, consumers, and taxpayers.
He also stressed the importance of promoting competition, avoiding conflicts of interest situations, and ensuring that parties of PPP contracts are capable of delivering on their commitments and running their facilities efficiently for the benefit of the public.
The BOT IRR Committee held its first meeting on October 26, 2021 and will begin its stakeholder consultations with the public, investors, civil society, and other partners in December 2021.
The BOT IRR Committee aims to approve and publish the amended BOT IRR by the first quarter of 2022.*PNA