TWELVE PUBLIC-private partnership (PPP) and other infrastructure projects worth a total of P184.41 billion were approved for rollout by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board in a meeting on Friday.

Communications Secretary Herminio B. Coloma, Jr. said the PPP projects which secured green light from the NEDA Board, headed by President Benigno S.C. Aquino III, were the first phase of the P30.40-billion Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of Iloilo Airport; Phase 1 of the P40.57-billion O&M of Davao Airport; Phase 1 of the P20.26-billion O&M of Bacolod Airport; P5.23-billion O&M of Puerto Princesa Airport; P18.99-billion Davao Sasa Port Modernization Project; and P50.18-billion Regional Prison Facilities through PPP.

Mr. Coloma also said the NEDA Board, in the same meeting, approved the change in contract terms for the P122.81-billion Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike Project, also under the PPP program. “Authority was given by NEDA Board for DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) to adopt a hybrid contractual arrangement, as stipulated in the IRR (Implementing Rules and Regulations) of the BoT Law. Also, the DPWH was directed to coordinate with LLDA (Laguna Lake Development Authority) and PRA (Philippine Retirement Authority) on implementation,” he said in a text message.

Mr. Coloma would not elaborate, but a January 2013 policy brief prepared for the PPP Center described a hybrid project as one that provides assets in lieu of cash or other conventional forms of subsidy, or allows official development assistance or other concessional international financing not usually obtained for a PPP project.

Also approved was the 18-month extension of loan validity (to Jan. 10, 2016 from July 10, 2014), downscaling of scope and reallocation of project cost that cut the total cost of the ongoing Laguindingan Airport Development Project to P7.70 billion from P7.85 billion.

O&M of the various airports, Mr. Coloma noted, is meant to “enhance safety, security, access, passenger and cargo movement efficiency, and operational efficiency at the airport”, while the regional prison facilities is expected “to accommodate 26,000 inmates with facilities for both men and women.”

The other projects approved in the more than eight hours of meeting were: P8.55-billion flood risk management project for Cagayan de Oro River; the P1.27-billion Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue-Makati Avenue-Paseo de Roxas vehicles underpass project; the P4.01-billion Metro Manila Interchange Construction Project Phase 6; P810-million restoration of damaged bridges along Bohol Circumferential Road; P1.86-billion Fisheries, Coastal Resources and Livelihood project; as well as the P2.28-billion Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Employment to be implemented by the Agrarian Reform department.

Mr. Coloma said funding for the approved projects will come from various sources: some will be government-funded, some will require loans, others will have private equity funding or a combination of these modes.

With the approval by the NEDA board, Mr. Coloma said these projects could now move forward, adding that the President also “directed the Cabinet and NEDA members to focus on completing similar ongoing projects.”

Two other PPP projects that were discussed but not approved -- the P19.30-billion Motor Vehicle Inspection System and P21.2-billion North Luzon Expressway (NLEx)-South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) Connector Road -- will be taken up in the next NEDA board meeting that has yet to be scheduled, Mr. Coloma said.

He added that Mr. Aquino ordered further review of other non-PPP projects that were taken up, namely: Balog-Balog multi-purpose project under the National Irrigation Authority, as well as extension of a road improvement project and an institutional development project of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Eight PPP projects have been awarded so far by the Aquino government since the late-2010 launch of this flagship infrastructure program, namely: the P64.9-billion Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) Cavite Extension; the P1.72-billion Automatic Fare Collection System; the P17.52-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport Passenger Terminal Building; the P2.01-billion Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway Link Road; the P15.52-billion Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway; the P16.28-billion first phase of the PPP for School Infrastructure Project (PSIP); the PSIP’s P3.86-billion second phase; and the P5.69-billion Philippine Orthopedic Center modernization.

Besides the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike Project, six other PPP projects have been rolled out, namely: the P35.4-billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway; P2.50-billion Integrated Transport System (ITS) Project-Southwest Terminal; P4.50-billion ITS Project-South Terminal; P24.40-billion Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project; P18.72-billion New Centennial Water Supply Source-Kaliwa Dam Project; and O&M of LRT-2. -- Imee Charlee C. Delavin