Aquino gov’t lines up eight public-private partnership projects for 2012

The government will roll out this year eight projects under the public-private partnership (PPP) program in a more accelerated pace, President Benigno S. Aquino said on Tuesday.

Spearheading the Philippine Investment Forum at the Peninsula Manila in Makati on Tuesday, the President said he has instructed the Cabinet’s economic cluster to speed up the approval of PPP projects so that work could immediately start on the ground.

“There has to be more speed in terms of giving a thumbs up, or a thumbs down to all the various projects that are under consideration. We cannot afford to think of decades upon decades,” the President said during the forum.

“We are missing the opportunities that are already extant,” he added.

The country’s PPP thrust is already generating a lot of interest from investors, from building schools, roads, bridges and airports, the President said.

One particular focus is rehabilitation and improvement of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), which now becomes congested as more air traffic is experienced by the country.

“There is a need to really expand our gateways and various studies are underway to determine exactly how best to achieve that,”the Chief Executive said referring to NAIA.

“There are limitations to how much you can expand NAIA especially given the density of the population in the surrounding areas. But that should not stop us from having the facilities available for the tourists.”

There is also a study being done on a proposal to build a nautical highway aimed at cutting down travel time from Luzon to Mindanao, the President said adding that the proponents want to reduce travel time from three days to about 15 hours.

Once this is realized, the President stressed that products coming from the south could easily reach Metro Manila consumers, which, he said, would be a big boost to Mindanao’s agricultural producers.

Last year, the government gave the greenlight for the P1.4 billion four-kilometer Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) under the PPP projects.

The Aquino administration shortlisted and readied for rollout last year at least 10 projects woth 127.8 billion under the PPP. (One Luzon E-NewsMagazine)