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House Public Works panel approves new PPP law; Salceda says measure to unlock “trillions” in corporate, private sector funds towards infra

November 17th, 2022

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) says the Public Private Partnership Law, which was approved by the House Committee on Public Works and Highways today, will unlock “trillions” in corporate and private sector funds towards infrastructure projects in the country, “to supplement the country’s public resources.”

“There is at least P27 trillion in financial resources available in the banking sector, and at least P600 billion annually in just the large conglomerates, every year for private sector financing of PPPs. We need that with current elevated debt levels,” Salceda said.

Salceda adds that the “expertise, operational flexibility, and network of the private sector will be crucial in completing high-priority, big-ticket projects.”

“More than just the financing, it’s the private sector’s ability to get things done. We need that.”

The House public works committee approved the substitute bill which was workshopped by the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office and other executive agencies with the Committee. 

The proposal sets clearer rules and definitions on unsolicited and solicited proposals, the approval mechanisms, governing institutions for PPPs, contract terms, and other 

Salceda, however, flagged concerns about the transition between the old PPP regime under the Build-Operate-Transfer Law and the proposed measure.

Salceda says that “since the new measure will abolish the old law, we need a clear transition framework.”

Salceda adds that the implementing agencies “must ensure that the implementing rules and regulations are promptly drafted and issued so that we can avoid being in regulatory limbo. That has been the case for several crucial laws, including the PSA amendments.”

“I found at least 36 provisions that require further elaboration in the IRR. So, we need a timeline for the issuance of the IRRs.”

Salceda especially insisted on the definition for “material adverse government action” or MAGA which tends to be a cause for litigation between government and the private sector, and which tends to delay projects.

“MAGA is the toughest bone of contention in PPPs, so we best resolve that in the law already,” Salceda added.

“This is the third time I am sponsoring this measure. I hope this time around, we get it done. This is the first time the PPP Law was mentioned as a SONA priority. So, I am very hopeful.”

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