Gov’t to amend BOT regulations

Published November 2, 2021, 4:24 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

The Duterte administration will amend the the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the build-operate-transfer (BOT) law to remove the “onerous,” “excessive,” and “undue” terms, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.

In a statement, the NEDA said on Tuesday, Nov. 2, that President Duterte has designated Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua as the chairman of the BOT IRR Committee.

The NEDA said the amendments aim to facilitate the development of “well-structured” Public Private Partnerships (PPPs).

The goal is to “deliver high quality services to the people, protect the public from excessive payments and undue guarantees arising from PPP projects,” the NEDA said.

The amended BOT IRR, which aims to be finished by the first quarter of 2022, will “promote the interests of Filipinos, who ultimately pay for the costs and returns of private proponents of PPP projects,” the NEDA added.

For his part, Chua said PPPs have the potential to help stimulate the economy, bring back jobs, and address people’s urgent, present, and future needs.

However, he noted that it is the government’s job, on behalf of the Filipino people, to ensure that private sector interests are aligned to the public’s interests, with the overall goal of providing the best services to the people.

According to Chua, PPPs with unwarranted guarantees, contingent liabilities, and other onerous contract provisions take up the government’s already-limited fiscal space and hamper the country’s development.

These use up resources that could have been used to build other infrastructure or provide social services for the people, the NEDA chief said.

“As PPPs are paid for by the public, the IRR should enable the provision of quality infrastructure and services that are delivered in a timely and cost-effective manner,” said PPP Center Executive Director Ferdinand A. Pecson.

Finance Secretary and Investment Coordination Committee Chair Carlos G. Dominguez III emphasized the need for transparent and expeditious processes in evaluating PPPs to arrive at their real cost to the government, consumers, and taxpayers.

He also stressed the importance of promoting competition, avoiding conflicts of interest situations, and ensuring that parties of PPP contracts are capable of delivering on their commitments and running their facilities efficiently for the benefit of the public.

The BOT IRR Committee held its first meeting last Oct. 26, and will begin its stakeholder consultations with the public, investors, civil society, and other partners in December 2021.

Aside from NEDA, the committee also includes the Department of Finance, Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, as well as Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Also included are Department of Information and Communications, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Transportation, and the Public-Private Partnership Center.

 
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