THE National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) is eyeing to undertake more Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to help shoulder the debts of projects.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan recently told reporters a number of projects could be offered as PPPs if the private sector deems them profitable.
Balisacan said one of these projects is the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge (BCIB) Project, which is currently being financed by a $2.11-billion loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and a $1.14-billion loan from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
“We would want to see this new Bataan-Cavite bridge, have that [as] a PPP. Build it, turn it into, attractive for the private sector,” Balisacan said. “If it’s profitable enough, even the debt can be transferred to the private sector so they can continue the servicing.”
Balisacan said one way the private sector can come in is through the operation and maintenance of the project which could pave the way for the private sector to also shoulder the debt servicing for the loans from ADB and AIIB.
The Neda chief said there are still a lot of PPPs that the government can offer. Currently, Balisacan said the Laguindingan airport is up for Swiss Challenge.
He added that by February, the government will award the winner for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) rehabilitation. Earlier, lawmakers appealed to extend the bidding to ensure “a fair and competitive process” (See: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2023/12/18/adb-plea-to-extend-bidding-for-naia-rehab-gets-backing/).
Meanwhile, based on ADB data, the BCIB project is a 32.15-km road link that will connect Bataan and Cavite. ADB said this is the missing link in the road network of the National Capital Region (NCR), Central Luzon, and Calabarzon.
The BCIB, ADB said, will include the construction of a tourist center and supporting facilities will be established at the north approach of the bridge.
ADB said this will provide information about the ecosystem and diversity of destinations on the Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor Island.
Completion of the BCIB, the final link of the loop road around Manila Bay, will provide opportunities for expansion outside the NCR for economic integration and growth.
It will also boost the tourism for Bataan Province and Corregidor Island and serve as a support to the development of Port of Mariveles as a premier international shipping gateway, hence expanding the overall port capacity of Manila Bay.
ADB also said the BCIB will be an alternative route from north Luzon to south Luzon without traveling through the heavily congested roadways of NCR, and thus reduce the pressure on the existing north-south corridors.
In case of a natural hazard, ADB said, the BCIB can serve as the main evacuation route for the people of Bataan, Cavite, Rizal, and south NCR.