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The Speaker of the House applauds PBBM for making PPPs a national priority.

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In view of the House of Representatives goal to adopt legislation boosting the PPP program before it adjourns on December 17, a House speaker praised President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Friday for underlining the importance of PPPs in the nation’s economic recovery.

During the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting in Thailand, House Ways and Means Chair Joey Salceda thanked the President for elevating PPPs as a national priority.

In his speech, Marcos stated that the “centerpiece” of the Philippines’ attempt at economic change is strengthening the relationships between the public and private sectors.

“The unique resources and authority of the State should be combined with the creativity, adaptability, knowledge, experience, and capital access of the private sector to create greater public goods for the populace. President Marcos is also correct to point out that PPPs should cover social necessities outside infrastructure, such as healthcare, food security, and education “added Salceda.

The solon claimed that with the passing of the new PPP Law, it will become a “healthy combination of PPPs and government-funded programs” to supply social services.

“The House leadership has made this a top priority. The House committee reached a consensus, and we are coordinating with the Department of Finance (DOF), the PPP Center, and other organizations to finalize the details “added he.

The alternative measure, which would reinforce PPPs and is a legislative priority of President Marcos as stated in his first State of the Nation Address, was adopted by the House Committee on Public Works and Highways.

The institutionalization of PPP pipeline projects, more transparent approval standards for national and local PPPs, and the adoption of the Generic Preferred Risk Allocation Matrix (GPRAM), which would strengthen the financial stability of government PPP contracts while lowering litigation and contingent liabilities, are the main components of the bill.

Additionally, it suggests the establishment of a PPP pre-qualification, bids and awards committee, clearer guidelines for solicited proposals, negotiation following the submission of a single compliant bid, stronger fiscal safeguards in uninvited projects, guidelines for competing for uninvited proposals, the institutionalization of comparative “Swiss” challenges, and more lucid joint venture guidelines.

Salceda stated that in order for the IRR to be issued “quite soon” once the bill is enacted, he has advised standby implementing rules and regulations (IRR) based on the draft legislation.

He underlined that important investments would be hampered by a delay in the IRR issue.

“In the draft that the executive agencies worked on, there are at least 26 clauses that need more clarification from the IRR. Time will be much reduced if agencies have already discussed draft IRRs based on the proposed bill “added he.

He asserted that resolving differences now between government parties regarding how to carry out the law, later on, will lessen the uncertainty.

“When it comes to investments, the private sector values an order based on regulations. Risks are decreased, the playing field is leveled, and corruption is less likely. Therefore, in addition to urgently needing the law, proper implementation of the law is also required “added he.

Marcos stated that the public and private sectors must collaborate to construct more infrastructure, energy, and agriculture projects in order to empower and strengthen the economy during the Thursday APEC CEO Summit in Bangkok, Thailand.

In the meantime, Marcos acknowledged that his government cannot overhaul the Philippine economy on its own during a meeting with Thai giant CP Group on Wednesday. He stressed that his administration needs partnerships with the private sector.

Marcos’ meeting with CP Group was successful as a result of the company’s promise to increase its investments in aquaculture, rice, and swine production in the Philippines.

President Marcos “performed very well” in his first appearance at the APEC Summit, according to Speaker Martin Romualdez, winning the respect and admiration of the regional business leaders.

The President, he continued, “does very well in this fora, in these types of fora where there are exchanges, and in his insights into the conditionality in the Philippines, whether it be economic or even political.”

Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA), who was a member of President Marcos’ team, was evidently pleased with the Chief Executive’s performance, Romualdez continued.

The audience was applauding our President for his “very clear-cut answers” and “quite incisive” responses, Romualdez added. “You could see GMA there literally cheering him on,” Romualdez said.

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