Investment, partnership opportunities with biz sector vital for sustainable dev’t – NEDA

Ongoing efforts to revamp the country’s investment ecosystem will raise investor confidence, address the private sector’s concerns, and create a more enabling policy environment for rapid infrastructure project rollout.

This was the message emphasized by National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan during the 12th Arangkada Philippines Forum on October 25, 2023.

“I am pleased to share that we have revamped the governing frameworks for high-impact Public-Private Partnerships, or PPPs, in the investment ecosystem. The Revised 2022 Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law address various concerns from private-sector stakeholders regarding financial viability and implementation ambiguity,” he said in his keynote address.

Balisacan added that the upcoming amendment to the BOT Law reflects the features of the revised IRR and will be a landmark piece of legislation for the Marcos Administration. It aims to harmonize all legal, policy, and regulatory frameworks in developing, implementing, and monitoring PPP projects, focusing on balancing public and private-sector objectives.

He further noted that this reform complements other measures, such as the Investment Coordination Committee or ICC Guidelines for PPP projects and the 2023 Revised NEDA Joint Venture guidelines. These measures will ensure the full participation of private-sector partners in the joint construction and operation of infrastructure projects.

Balisacan also mentioned that the Office of the President is finalizing the Executive Order (EO) on Expediting the Processing of Documentary Requirements for the Infrastructure Flagship Projects (IFPs). The EO aims to simplify the requirements and clearances needed by implementing agencies for priority infrastructure projects.

“The government’s extensive ‘Build-Better-More’ program includes the 197 IFPs, a list of transformative and game-changing projects that will benefit from expedited approval processes and higher prioritization in government funding,” he said.

Furthermore, Balisacan said that 88 of the 197 projects are still undergoing various stages of preparation, wherein the private sector may participate.

“The Marcos Administration has been proactively addressing bottlenecks in the timely completion of these IFPs. We aim to substantially implement these projects, if not complete them, by 2028,” he said.

These initiatives, outlined in the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, aim to make the Philippines an attractive destination for investors, particularly in the infrastructure, technology, and energy sectors.

The 12th Arangkada Philippines Forum, organized by the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines, brought together experts and industry leaders to explore perspectives and facilitate the integration of sustainability principles into accelerating inclusive growth and development.