Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc. has strengthened its commitment to support the government’s flagship infrastructure thrust, as the government called for greater private sector participation in the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) recovery plan, which includes the “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) program.
Cosette V. Canilao, the company’s president, said increasing infrastructure spending, whether by government or the private sector, will play a significant role in helping rebuild the Philippine economy, which is expected to contract by as much as 3.4 percent this year due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
“We stand ready to support the government by investing in the development of key infrastructure projects,” said Canilao.
Aboitiz Group President Sabin M. Aboitiz added that infrastructure development is “one way to keep the economy stimulated.”
Canilao noted that her group sees public-private partnership (PPP) deals can “help fill in any gaps brought about by funding reallocations” due to the Covid-19 crisis. Canilao is the former executive director of the PPP Center.
“We understand that the government earmarked funding from other programs, including infrastructure projects, to address the Covid-19 impact. The private sector through PPP, could take up the void that the reallocation from infrastructure projects has created,” she said.
Her group is now engaged in several projects such as the common telco tower program of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, and the Apo Agua Bulk Water Supply Project of the Davao City Water District.
“The current crisis has clearly proven the urgent need for digital infrastructure to support better telecommunication services, and the Aboitiz Group is ready to provide this through our common tower project,” she said.
Canilao said she hopes that the government will resume the auction for the regional airport projects of the Department of Transportation, as well as the rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
She added that her group remains open to discussing with the government its unsolicited proposal along with the Ayala Group and Unisys, for a National Identification Card (ID) system previously submitted to the Philippine Statistics Authority in 2018.
Canilao said there is an urgent need for a National ID system due to the present conditions to help hasten Covid-19 aid distribution.
“We believe in the project and would be happy to discuss with the government should they consider our proposal,” she said.