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ADB says PPP initiative to bridge infra gap in PHL, Asia Featured

The public-private partnership (PPP) initiative has the potential to bridge the infrastructure gap in the Philippines and Asia at large, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Tuesday.


"PPPs, if done right, have the potential to fill the region's huge infrastructure needs, leveraging the capabilities and resources of the private sector towards the common goal of sustainable development for all," ADB chief economist Yasuki Sawada said in a statement.


ADB principal country specialist for the Philippines Joven Balbosa noted the country should look at PPPs as a long-term investment.


"The last administration put up a PPP Center equipped with a very strong staff ... This administration utilized that more fully by looking at the optimal mix," he said.


The country needs $15 billion to finance infrastructure projects until 2030, with several PPP projects in the pipeline, Budget Secretary Benjamin M. Diokno earlier said.


Diokno said the government will focus on doing "hybrid" public-private partnership projects—choose the project, look for financing, and let the private sector build it.


"There are lots of opportunities," Diokno said in April, when asked about the opportunities for the private sector.
Under the build-operate-transfer scheme, the private sector builds the project and then manages and operates it for a certain period before it is turned over to the government.


Asked to comment on this, ADB Philippines country manager Richard Bolt said they see it more as a "rebalancing."


"We don't see it as a bias. They're looking at all modes to do this construction. They're looking at a mix. It is the beginning of a rebalance," he said. — VDS, GMA News
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