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Mandanas ruling seen to boost PPPs


THE Mandanas ruling can help push public-private partnerships (PPP) between local government units (LGUs) and private companies, the top official of Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. said.

In a chance interview on Wednesday, Cosette V. Canilao, president and chief executive officer of Aboitiz InfraCapital, said that PPP projects could even start at the simplest ones.

“With the Mandanas ruling, LGUs get more of the revenues and that gives them ammunition to go into PPPs and start developing and converting their communities to smart cities,” she said.

Under the Supreme Court’s Mandanas ruling in 2018, the just share of LGUs is determined based on all national taxes and not just on national internal revenue taxes. The decision significantly increased the tax base used in computing the share of LGUs in the internal revenue allotment.

Ms. Canilao said LGUs could go for projects such as “lamp posts, energy management, traffic management, and smart water network for some water distribution that is managed by some municipalities.”

She said that these projects could be done through unsolicited or solicited proposals as LGUs have their own ordinances.

“They (LGUs) can come up with their own ordinance or PPP framework and most of the LGUs have actually done that,” she said.

Ms. Canilao said that one of the biggest challenges in entering PPPs is the lack of capability among some LGUs.

“They are not as knowledgeable and they don’t know how to process it. But the PPP Center, which is a national agency, is mandated to help the LGUs in putting together the PPP framework or even in putting together the projects that can be done through PPPs,” she said.

Aboitiz InfraCapital has submitted unsolicited proposals for various soft and hard infrastructure projects.

For soft infrastructure projects, the company has submitted a proposal to PhilHealth in managing its claims and membership.

“I think that will be again another foundation to accelerate our digital economy and, of course, improve the processes of the health sector,” she said.

For hard infrastructure, Ms. Canilao said the company has submitted unsolicited proposals for three regional airports: Bohol-Panglao International Airport, Laguindingan International Airport in Misamis Oriental, and Bicol International Airport.

“It’s with the government. We are waiting for them to complete their evaluation and the approval process,” she said.

Last week, Department of Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista said that the government is set to fast-track PPP projects for nine regional airports.

“Three unsolicited proposals are already with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and these are being evaluated,” Mr. Bautista said, referring to the three proposals from Aboitiz InfraCapital.

Mr. Bautista said that the NEDA has required the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to pass additional requirements for the three projects.

“These unsolicited proposals were submitted during the past administration but we are fast-tracking the completion of these. Hopefully, by today the CAAP will be able to submit all the documents which are being requested by NEDA,” Mr. Bautista said on Wednesday.

“And with that, I am hoping that these can be included in the NEDA Investment Coordination Committee Cabinet committee meeting on May 29,” he added.

Aboitiz InfraCapital is also included in the consortium that filed the P100 billion worth unsolicited proposal for the operations and maintenance of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. — Justine Irish D. Tabile

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