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In the coming administration, Salceda will advocate for PPP reforms.

MANILA, Philippines – Albay Rep. Joey Salceda promised on Friday that in the 19th Congress, he will strive for a stronger and more appealing framework for public-private partnerships (PPPs).

Salceda said in a statement that such agreements will be critical in constructing modern and efficient public services during “difficult fiscal conditions.”

“There are persistent fiscal limits, but there are also ongoing public needs.” Infrastructure and social services will always be important investments that are required. Sourcing from outside the government will be critical,” he said.

During his discussion with incoming Public Works and Highways Secretary Manuel Bonoan, Salceda, who chairs the House committee on ways and means, said they discussed ways forward with PPPs, especially given the short space for funding large projects.

“Sec. Manny looks to be optimistic about the development of Philippine infrastructure during the next six years. PPPs, in my opinion, have a very good possibility of playing a key part in the future administration. Sec. Manny has extensive experience in both the public and commercial sectors. “And PBBM (President-elect [Ferdinand] Bongbong Marcos) has made very sensible statements on the need for more flexible PPPs in numerous interviews,” he added.

PPP changes, according to Salceda, have a better chance of passing in the upcoming 19th Congress.

He claimed that if the government allowed more corporations to participate, the private sector could fund infrastructure improvements “several times more.”

“The business sector, particularly major multinationals, is flush with cash for public-private partnerships. San Miguel has a market capitalization of PHP301.7 billion, while Aboitiz Equity Ventures has a market capitalization of PHP107.5 billion. Ayala Corporation has a market capitalization of PHP99.6 billion. SMIC has a market capitalization of PHP93.9 billion. JG Summit has a total value of PHP292.6 billion. The LT Group has a market capitalization of PHP390.1 billion “he stated “For these conglomerates alone, that amounts to PHP1.285 trillion in cash.” To put things in perspective, the 2022 budget for ‘Build, Build, Build’ is only PHP1.180 trillion.”

Salceda added that he and Bonoan talked about ways to upgrade the infrastructure and transportation sectors.

“Today, I talked with Secretary Bonoan how I plan to assist his department in obtaining the needed fiscal space for infrastructure.” It is critical that we keep infrastructure as a top investment priority “he stated

He said the incoming administration’s first budget should focus on three key priorities or principles: maintaining productive spending and keeping it higher than the deficit as a percentage of GDP; limiting personnel spending growth; and ensuring that government spending has higher economic multiplier effects and is useful for longer periods.

“However, we urgently need to increase fiscal space, either by improving present tax collection or imposing new taxes.” Because PPPs necessitate some fiscal flexibility in the future. In essence, a PPP promotes public welfare while delaying public costs. “However, the price will be paid,” Salceda remarked.

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