Good progress but more work needs to be done

Here’s what global insurance broker Marsh has to say about the government’s PPP program. Let’s hope the government decision makers for this program take note of the comment and continue to focus on what is needed to be done.

Phl on right track for infra dev’t – Marsh

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is making good progress to promote Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) as a way to meet the country’s insatiable demand for public infrastructure, but more work needs to be done, according to experts at a recent Marsh event in Manila.

Marsh, the leading global insurance broker and risk advisor, hosted a major conference on May 29 at the Mandarin Oriental, Manila, to debate and discuss the risks, opportunities, and trends for PPPs in the Philippines.

In his keynote address, Finance Undersecretary Jose Emmanuel Reverente highlighted the need for infrastructure development as a matter of nation building, and that the government’s early focus on PPPs as a way to way to encourage private participation has contributed to the healthy pipeline of bankable projects, which now stands at around 50 projects worth $22 billion.

“The government will continue to work on ways to streamline and standardize the PPP process, as well as provide incentives and safeguards to facilitate private investment, from both local and international parties,” said Undersecretary Reverente.

A panel discussion, which included experts from the Asian Development Bank, PJS Law, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, Marsh, and the Undersecretary himself, highlighted the need for more work on institutionalizing the use of PPPs, a better understanding of risk allocation, the availability of new credit risk solutions to de-risk projects, and issues around contract certainty.

Edwin Charnaud, chairman, Marsh’s Global Infrastructure Practice and moderator of the panel, commented: “The Philippines is a great example of a country recognizing the need for infrastructure funding early, and actively taking steps to put in place policies and regulations to promote private investment. More work clearly needs to be done to embed PPPs as a preferred infrastructure funding mechanism and to address quickly many of the risk-related issues that determine the attractiveness of the Philippines PPP program for domestic and foreign private sector investors. As the competition across Asia for infrastructure investment continues to intensify, all stakeholders need to draw from local and international experience for Philippines PPP projects to be an attractive proposition for investors.”

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