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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs  15 October 2010

Philippines tweaks infrastructure regs

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The Aquino administration is tweaking its current rules for infrastructure projects with a view to mitigate risks for investors interested in participating in the public-private partnership (PPP) initiative, government officials said on Thursday.

He said one possible modification is giving a government guarantee to unsolicited project proposals.

"An infrastructure fund will also be established to support the implementation of PPP projects," the NEDA official said.

Speaking during the 36th Philippine Business Conference and Expo, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Gregory Domingo said the government will put in place mechanisms that would minimize risks for private investors keen on the PPP.

Domingo said the PPP risks should be shared equally by the government and the private sector, adding that the Department of Finance would come up with the mechanisms.

He cited rail and road projects, developers of which usually encounter difficulties raising tariffs because of public opposition. "If the government does not allow fares to increase due to political pressure from the public, it is very unfair for the private sector to bear all the risks," the DTI chief said.

To encourage private participation in government projects, President Benigno Aquino 3rd earlier signed Executive Order No. 8, renaming the BOT Center as the PPP Center, which would be attached to the NEDA.

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