DOTr emerges as ‘largest client’ of ADB’s PPP arm

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has become the “largest client” of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Office of Public-Private Partnership (OPPP), after signing new deals for transport infrastructure projects.

At a news conference on Thursday, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said the DOTr and ADB have formally signed the Transaction Advisory Services Mandate for the privatization of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) and the Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP).

This means that the ADB will be the DOTr’s partner, consultant, and adviser in crafting the terms of reference for the said projects.

Bautista highlighted the expertise of the lender in helping the agency “fine tune the selection process for most qualified and experienced private sector operators” for the rail projects.

He noted that ADB would also help in determining the “best” route to proceed with the modernization and expansion of Naia, “whose operations and maintenance we propose to privatize.”

“The three transaction advisory service agreements we signed today will allow us to fast track the completion of our ongoing big-ticket rail projects and the much-needed improvement in our country’s main airport,” Bautista said.

For her part, Cleo Kawawaki, who heads the ADB OPPP, said the “notable history” of the Philippines as one of the pioneers of PPPs in Asia gives the lender much “honor” with this new partnership.

“You will be the largest client for ADB OPPP,” she said. “We hope to expand this with new mandates as well as executing the existing mandates with the DOTr.”

Over the last 30 years, a total of 116 PPP projects from different sectors have been implemented in the Philippines, raising a total of $43.95 billion in infrastructure investments, according to Kawawaki.

She added that the ADB has “learned a lot” from its experience with the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) PPP. Hence, it plans to employ and leverage tech solutions in its projects with the DOTr.

Kawawaki said: “Harness the power of the private sector’s efficiency and managing infrastructure projects and delivering safe, affordable infrastructure services for all people of the Philippines.”


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