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Australia, ADB Increase Support for Philippines' Public-Private Partnerships
MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Government of Australia are providing further funding support to the Philippines’ private–public partnerships (PPPs) agenda to help sustain the positive reform momentum.
This means that the Project Development and Monitoring Facility (PDMF) will be able to support preparation of more PPP projects than initially envisaged. The facility, set up as a revolving fund and administered by the PPP Center of the Philippines, finances PPP project preparation costs to ensure bankability of PPP projects.
“We are pleased to note the progress in the government’s PPP program and reforms. Due to the efficiency and transparency the PDMF offers the government agencies for PPP project preparation, the demand for PDMF funds has grown fast. We are happy to provide additional support to the government to sustain this positive momentum,” said Neeraj Jain, ADB’s Country Director for the Philippines.
The Government of Australia, through the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), is adding $15 million through a grant administered by ADB, on top of the $7 million provided last year. This additional AusAID funding will augment the PDMF by $9 million and provide an additional $6 million for more capacity building of government agencies involved in PPPs. ADB is allocating another $500,000 for capacity building, while the Philippine government will augment PDMF with an equivalent of $11.5 million.
“Australia views the PPP reforms very positively,” said Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell. “It will improve governance by putting the Philippine government in the driver’s seat to plan and implement quality infrastructure projects. It will also draw vital private sector investment into the country to fund essential infrastructure services that benefit all Filipinos. That is why we are such a strong supporter of the Philippine government’s PPP push.”
Early last year, ADB, Australia, Canada, and the Philippines earmarked $16.7 million to improve the PPP enabling environment and provide funding to PDMF to develop, competitively tender, and monitor implementation of PPP projects.
With the additional fund, it is now expected that at least 12 PPP projects will be implemented or ready by 2016, up from the original target of five projects by the end of 2013. The first solicited PPP project – a new four-kilometer four-lane toll road south of Metro Manila – was successfully bid out in December 2011.
ADB and AusAID have joined forces to help the government, through the National Economic Development Authority, develop a stronger policy, legal and regulatory environment for PPPs. The support also strengthens the capacity of the PPP Center. The Department of Finance also receives assistance in improving financing and risk management systems in PPPs.
Australia is a long-standing development partner of the Philippines and the country’s largest bilateral grant aid donor. In the current financial year, Australia will provide over Php5 billion in development assistance to the Philippines.