Govt slashes list of PPP projects

THE government is making last-minute changes to its list of 10 Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) projects that would be formally unveiled next month after striking out two projects for lack of matching private sector proponents.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima could only confirm that two PPP projects are headed for the freezer but would not give more details.

He nevertheless said the two de-listed projects would be replaced immediately as soon as feasibility studies on the new entries were done.

“Two projects would be pulled out (from the initial 10),” Purisima said in an interview.

He said the government is now looking at more school building and power projects as possible replacements.

The shake-up of the 10 PPP List came to fore as government was finalizing its PPP Summit in November where foreign and local investors, fund managers and industry titans are expected to attend.

Purisima declined to identify the two projects and gave no reason for its pull out but stressed this was not surprising since nothing was yet final in the preparation of the PPP List.

The finance chief also said they are sticking with the initial10 PPP projects.

A government source said the two PPP projects were being pulled out for receiving the least interest from prospective investors who raised the issues of operating “risks” such as security and high cost of utilities.

Foreign investors are apparently concerned that the viability of the two projects would be undermined by the power and security situation in the region where it would be located.

Of the 10 PPP projects, one is located in Iligan City, Mindanao and another in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Both are airport projects.

The government would formally unveil next month the first 10 projects that would be implemented under its PPP program.

The 10 PPP projects for implementation next year are: the P70-billion MRT/LRT expansion project; the P11.3-billion MRT Line 2 Extension; the P7.54-billion New Bohol Airport; the P36-billion Puerto Princesa Airport; the P21-billion NLEX-SLEX Link Expressway; the P10.5-billion CALA Expressway-Manila side section; and the P3.08-billion Daraga International Airport.   Dino Ng

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