ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Philippine business receives Aquino backing
President Aquino addressed the opening of “Infrastructure Philippines 2010,” a two-day conference on the PPP held at Marriott Hotel in Pasay City (Metro Manila).
In his keynote speech at the forum, the president said that he was fully aware of the concerns of the investors, and that the new government was addressing them.
He asked the potential investors to pour in $3.4 billion to upgrade roads, railways and airports, while promising them protection from business black holes.
Most of the 10 contracts are designed to ease fearsome traffic jams in and around Metro Manila, country’s premier region, while giving much-needed momentum to Mr. Aquino’s top economic strategy of improving the country’s creaky infrastructure.
“If we truly are interested in a square deal for all, then what we shake hands on, should be what endures. To this end, what we will be doing in so far as solicited projects are concerned is to minimize your risks in a meaningful and fair manner,” he said.
“The government will provide investors with protection against regulatory risks. Infrastructure can only be paid for from user fees or taxes. When government commits to allow investors to earn their return from user fees, it is important that that commitment be reliable and enforceable,” Mr. Aquino added.
“And if private investors are impeded from collecting contractually agreed fees—by regulators, courts or the legislature—then our government will use its own resources to ensure that they are kept whole,” he said.
The President added that specifics of such protection will be part of the contracts to be entered into between the government and the winning bidders of infrastructure projects.
According to him, each infrastructure project will be looked at differently, and that the government will use independent financial advisers to study each project carefully before it is bidded out.
He noted that the protection will be limited to regulatory risks, commercial or market risks shall be borne by investors.
Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below