BOT Law review committee approves amendments to IRR

The Cabinet-level Committee on the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) approved the proposed amendments to the 2022 IRR of the BOT Law during its meeting held on September 15, 2022.

The BOT IRR Committee is chaired by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and co-chaired by the Department of Finance. Committee members include the Departments of Agriculture, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources, Information and Communications Technology, the Interior and Local Government, Public Works and Highways, Trade and Industry, and Transportation, as well as the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center which serves as member of and secretariat to the Committee.

During the meeting, which was presided over by NEDA Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan, members of the BOT IRR Committee deliberated on each of the proposed amendments to determine whether and to what extent these ensure the viability of PPP projects and their contribution to the government’s goals.

“We have to ensure that the amendments will address stakeholder concerns on financial viability and bankability of PPP projects. Likewise, we need to make sure that ambiguous provisions are revised, as these are risky for the government, given that they can cause delays in the processing and implementation of PPP projects. Lastly, these amendments should be socially beneficial to all parties,” said Balisacan.

The Committee also took into consideration the inputs solicited from stakeholders during the face-to-face public consultation held on September 13. The BOT IRR Committee acknowledged receipt of 91 comments during the public consultation proper and 213 written comments in total.

Balisacan underscored the importance of approving the proposed amendments, as the IRR would bolster the government’s capabilities in addressing pressing issues such as inflation, poverty, and prolonged socioeconomic scarring from COVID-19 through PPPs.

“The amendments to the IRR would serve to further leverage PPPs in spurring innovation and aiding in the prudent allocation of the government’s resources. This is especially relevant today, given our tight fiscal position. With more resources freed up, the government can increase its spending on priorities such as health, education, and social protection. Meanwhile, through PPPs, the private sector could serve as a steadfast partner in areas such as infrastructure development, where there is strong market demand. Through this cooperation, we move forward with confidence towards achieving our post-pandemic socioeconomic goals,” said Balisacan.

Following the Committee’s approval, the revised BOT Law IRR will undergo final revisions before being uploaded to the websites of the Committee members by September 19, 2022. The Committee targets the publication of the revised IRR by September 26, and for the measure to take effect on October 11, 2022.