PPP: NEDA Board approves five PPP deals; one infra project

P372.82-billion worth of public-private partnership (PPP) projects and another infrastructure project were approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board yesterday. 

According to Communications Secretary Herminio B. Coloma, Jr., the PPP projects that got the green light were the P24.303-billion expansion of Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX); P117.304-billion North-South Commuter Railway Project (NSCR) Phase I; P170.7-billion North-South Railway Project (NSRP) South Line; the rebidding of the P35.43-billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway Project with a minimum bid price of P20.105 billion; and the Swiss challenge of the P20-billion 8-kilometer North Luzon Expressway (NLEX)-South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) Connector Road, with rate of return increased to 9.93% from the current 8.64%.

Targeted to be implemented from 2015 and operated for 35 years starting 2020, the NSCR Project involves the construction of a 36.7-kilometer narrow-gauge elevated commuter railway from Malolos to Tutuban using the Philippine National Railways right-of-way with 10 stations and a depot at Valenzuela City. It also involves the procurement of rolling stock and installation of electro-mechanical systems.

The NSRP South Line will run mainly from Tutuban Station in Manila to Legazpi City in Albay and aims to rehabilitate the existing railway “to provide improved transport and logistics services to currently underserved areas and encourage more productive activities,” according to the PPP Center website. This project will also involve commuter railway operations between Tutuban and Calamba and long-haul railway operations between Tutuban and Legazpi. Furthermore, it will build branch lines from Calamba to Batangas, and from Legazpi to Matnog, Sorsogon.

Another project approved by the NEDA Board was the P5.087-billion Panguil Bay Bridge project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), which involves the construction of a bridge across Panguil Bay connecting the City of Tangub in Misamis Occidental and the Municipality of Tubod in Lanao del Norte. This project, regarded as a high-priority development project in Mindanao, is targeted to be implemented from 2015 to 2018.

The funding for the approved projects will come from a combination of sources. 

“Some will be internally funded, some through loans, and some will have private equity funding,” said Mr. Coloma.

In a statement, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said: “Most of these projects aim to have a more reliable and efficient transport infrastructure system to increase investment in connective infrastructure. These projects will support the government’s goal of increasing infrastructure spending to at least 5.1 percent in 2016. We hope that they will be implemented efficiently and effectively.”

He added that with the approval of the NEDA Board, the projects can now proceed to rollout stage—involving publication of invitations to prospective bidders. He said the President yesterday directed the Cabinet and the NEDA members to focus on completing similar ongoing projects.

Other proposed PPP projects that will be discussed in the next Board meeting are the P378.33-billion Makati-Pasay-Taguig Mass Transit System Loop Project; P13.33-billion Motor Vehicle Inspection System Project; and P1.16-billion Civil Registry System-Information Technology Project Phase II.