Around 15 public-private partnership (PPP) projects are expected to be submitted to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board for approval this year, according to the PPP Center.

Speaking at the SGV Knowledge Institute's Philippine Economic Outlook forum, PPP Center executive director Cynthia Hernandez said there are 117 PPP projects in the pipeline worth P2.5 trillion as of February.

'Out of the 117 projects, there are 15 that are expected to be approved this year,' she said.

Hernandez told reporters the 15 projects would be submitted to the NEDA Board chaired by President Marcos for approval.

Those in the advanced stages are the Metro Manila Subway operations and maintenance (OandM), North-South Commuter Rail OandM, construction and OandM of the San Ramon Newport at the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone, University of the Philippines Philippine General Hospital Diliman, Cagayan Valley Medical Center - Hemodialysis Center and the National Capital Region EDSA Busway OandM.

Also part of the PPP pipeline to be submitted for approval this year are solicited projects, including the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit, Davao City Bypass project, Metro Rail Transit Line 3, as well as Light Rail Transit Line 2.

Meanwhile, unsolicited projects expected to be submitted for government approval this year are the Puerto Princesa International Airport rehabilitation and OandM, New Bohol International Airport upgrade and OandM, Iloilo International Airport rehab and OandM, long term water source development for Metro Manila, and Philippine Identification System OandM.

According to Hernandez, the government wants to start the procurement process for the OandM projects relatively early for proper turnover and operations.

'This will reduce interface risk. The government really doesn't have the capacity to operate the projects when they finish,' she said.

For 2025, Hernandez said 13 projects in the early stages of development would also be submitted for approval.

'The preliminary studies are expected to be completed. Once completed, these can be submitted by the implementing agencies for approval by 2025,' she said.

With the enactment of the new PPP Code, which aims to provide a more competitive and enabling environment for the implementation of projects undertaken with the private sector, Hernandez said the government expects to receive more unsolicited proposals.

As PPPs are being pushed for the implementation of infrastructure projects, she said the PPP Center is encouraging Japanese firms to be more involved in PPPs through direct investments

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