Gov't pursuing private sector's infra priorities -- PBBM

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said that the government has already completed or is in the process of implementing a substantial portion of the Private Sector Advisory Council's (PSAC) recommendations for infrastructure development.

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. (Malacañang photo)
President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. (Malacañang photo)

Marcos said following a meeting with the advisory group in Malacañang on Thursday, March 9.

In his remarks, the President said the recommendations by the PSAC were "essentially many of the things" that the government was already doing.

"So we are once again moving in the right direction together with our private sector partners," Marcos said.

According to the President, this development validates the administration's continued support to its private sector partners and that rightsizing the bureaucracy would mean more efficient and quicker transaction processing.

In a statement, Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil said Thursday's meeting focused on infrastructure partnerships in the country, which included water, transport and mobility, logistics, energy, and Public-Private Partnership (PPP).

For the water sector, the PSAC recommended certifying the bill creating the Department of Water Resources as urgent, adopting non-traditional and more sustainable technologies to protect watersheds, increasing funding for water projects, and implementing a water tariff based on affordability.

The PSAC recommended for the transport and mobility sector the rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) through PPP this year, fast-tracking the award process for projects under the Original Proponent Status by 2023, and the development of Aerodome strategy for the country's aviation sector involving the private sector.

Regarding Philippine ports, the advisory council wants the government to develop existing and key Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) assets into regional hubs capable of handling international vessels, update the privatization framework to encourage investments, and develop port support infrastructure.

For the energy sector, the PSAC recommended the rationalization of the secondary price caps (SPCs), strengthening local government units (LGUs) to facilitate energy project implementation, and connecting small power utility groups (SPUGs) to the grid.

Present during the meeting were various Cabinet members, including Public Works Secretary Manuel Bonoan, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista, and officials from the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and PPA.

Also in attendance were PSAC convenor Sabin Aboitiz and business leaders Ramon Ang and Manuel Pangilinan, among others.

The PSAC is composed of business leaders and industry experts providing technical advice to the President in achieving the government's economic objectives in six key sectors — agriculture, digital infrastructure, healthcare, infrastructure, jobs generation, and tourism.