Solon hails PBBM for signing PPP Code into law

December 6, 2023 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 259 views

BULACAN 6th District Rep. Salvador Pleyto Sr. on Wednesday lauded President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for signing into law the Public-Private Partnership Code to generate more jobs and improve the country’s infrastructure.

Pleyto, a principal author of the measure through his House Bill (HB) No. 6527, also thanked Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez for pursuing the approval of the measure.

“This is my first bill to become a law,” Pleyto, an engineer, said.

“What is also good about this amendment to the BOT (build-operate-transfer) Law is that it prohibits issuance by courts except by the SC of a TRO and preliminary injunctions against all PPP projects. This is very important because projects can no longer be stalled,” Pleyto pointed out.

Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, chairman of the House committee on ways and means, said the newly-signed law will generate more funds needed to fill the country’s “infrastructure investment gap” by as much as P23 trillion.

“The PPP Code (Republic Act 11966) move is towards a rules-based, transparent, and efficient PPP framework that will help cover the P23 trillion infrastructure investment gap of the country,” Salceda said.

It will be recalled that the Philippines has been lagging behind its Asian neighbors in terms of foreign direct investments.

Salceda said the PPP Law has been a “pet bill” of President Marcos even when he was still a senator, of which he “worked for much of his Senate career.” “It’s a vision he has held onto for much of his political career, so I am very glad that we now have it in law,” he said.

“There is great promise if we can get the system to implement large national projects on PPP bases, where we can transfer the costs of capital to the private sector and even the financial risks to the private sector, whilst giving the private sector to gain profit,” he quoted Marcos as saying.

Other authors of the measure were Pleyto’s fellow engineer, Rep. Romeo Momo of Surigao del Sur, Deputy Speaker Ralph Recto, and Reps. Mikee Romero (1Pacman), LRay Villafuerte (Camarines Sur), Gus Tambunting (Paranaque) and Bernadette Herrera (Bagong Henerasyon).

Likewise, the PPP Code prohibits regulatory agencies from entering into and implementing PPP contracts that they regulate, and at the same time allows the Commission on Audit to audit PPP projects.

“This measure also makes the PPP framework as open as possible. We raised the threshold for NEDA-ICC approval to P15 billion, and for local government units whose PPPs do not require any national government undertaking – the sky is the limit,” he said.

He also emphasized that the PPP regime is now “more rules-based and orderly.”

“The new PPP Code does not suffer from long-standing defects of ambiguity. It is clearly specified which undertakings are not allowed. The process is outlined. The comparative challenge process is simple,” Salceda said.

“There is Original Proponent Status, good for only one year upon acceptance by agency, and a comparative challenge within 90 days to one year, with 30 days right to match,” Salceda added.