The Philippine government is bent on awarding by June 30 some public-private partnership (PPP) projects whose bid submission dates were postponed by their respective implementing agencies, the PPP Center (PPPC) said.
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) recently moved bid submission dates and opening or filing of bids of such projects as the Davao-Sasa port modernization; five regional airport projects; Light Rail Transit Line 6 and Line 2; and North South Railway project.
The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) regional prison project has also been changed to April 20 from March 22.
“The DOJ and DOTC have worked hard to bring the procurement process very close to completion. The PPP Center is ready to help the DOJ and DOTC make the final push to complete the process by June 30,” PPPC executive director Andre Palacios said in a statement.
However, the PPPC chief expressed concern about the postponements, citing strong reasons for continuing the bidding for the PPP projects.
“We are mindful that postponement in procurement will mean delay in delivery of public services,” Palacios said.
He noted that four factors together “strongly justify completing the bidding for the DOJ and DOTC projects.”
He explained that: “First, the projects were properly reviewed and approved in 2014. Second, they have been going through a fair, transparent and credible procurement process for over a year now. Third, the government has complied with all legal requirements, and has spent valuable resources to develop, approve and procure the projects. Fourth, there is genuine competition among serious bidders, both local and foreign, which will produce the best deal for government.”
Palacios emphasized the need to award these PPP projects so that the construction of better public infrastructure may commence in the next administration.
“A modern seaport in Davao will allow Mindanao farm products to reach the global market. Further, in a few years, air passengers will experience NAIA-type congestion in Iloilo, Bacolod, Bohol, Davao and Laguindingan airports. Expansion of these regional airports is necessary to avoid the expected congestion,” Palacios said.
Moreover, he noted “Bilibid inmates live in overcrowded, dehumanizing conditions. They urgently need facilities conducive to their reformation.”
A total of 13 PPP projects were granted exemption from the election ban, which will last from March 25 to May 8 of this year. The Commission on Elections en banc confirmed this in its resolution issued on January 19, 2016, PPPC noted.