The MMDA (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority) has a lot on its plate. Its vision statement captures the challenges it faces day in and day out—traffic congestion, climate change, waste management and disaster prevention. The MMDA cannot assume a business-as-usual attitude. Together with and through the 17 political units in Metro Manila, 16 cities and one municipality—they have to think and decide together, and collectively act out-of-the-box.
The MMDA is a public corporation and government instrumentality with corporate powers governed by the Metro Manila Council (MMC). It has broad and integrative powers with the power to issue rules and regulations pursuant to its mandate.
To be responsive and to achieve “decent quality of life for Metro Manilans,” the MMDA has to be proactive, dynamic and not be risk averse. Aside from partnering with the 17, it also has to work with private sector proponents (PSPs) in order to fulfill its “I will Act” rallying slogan. The MMC answered this call for public-private partnership (PPP) when it approved unanimously on August 7 the MMDA Alternative PPP Guidelines presented by the MMDA’s tireless and driven chairman, Hon. Danny D. Lim. The Guidelines offer four additional modalities—lease, lease-to-own, real-property swap and design-finance-build—whereby the PSPs shall be selected either through open bidding or unsolicited proposals. Chairman Lim in this PPP Conversation shares with us his views on MMDA’s PPP and his call for all of us to be part of the solution.
What is your concept of PPP?
PPP is a collaboration between the government and private sector for the improvement in the delivery of basic services which the government may not have the necessary funds for the purpose.
What makes PPP a viable and preferred development strategy for MMDA?
MMDA has a limited budget and we have enormous tasks specifically managing the traffic and minimizing floods. We also have other mandates like planning, environment and health, all of which entail cost and consume our budget. Big-ticket projects may be funded by the private sector through PPPs.
What are the possible PPP projects for MMDA?
We have a couple of properties and we have received offers for them. We also have IT projects and we have also received offers for companies, some foreign, for them to finance these.
What are the challenges and risks of the PPPs?
The risks are minimized by MMDA’s PPP Guidelines, which we recently adopted. We just have to be careful in studying proposals to make sure that these are not disadvantageous to the government and the people we serve.
What is your message to the public?
Help us in fulfilling our mandates. Government cannot do it alone. Just like PPP Projects, the success of the country rests not only on the shoulder of government but equally with each and every Filipino. We have been called to action. Metro Manilans, let us act together with a purpose. MMDA is not the only stakeholder and duty-holder.