This is to clarify some points in the news item titled “DOTC turns to legal eagles for help in PPP rollout” (Inquirer, 12/1/12) under the byline of Paolo Montecillo. The report blamed former Transportation Secretary and now Interior Secretary Mar Roxas for the delays in the rollout of PPP infrastructure projects. Specifically, it stated: “Abaya admitted that sudden changes in the government’s policy for PPPs, particularly the introduction of the ‘hybrid PPP’ structure introduced by his predecessor, current Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, resulted in delays in the rollout of long-awaited projects.”
Based on the transcript of the interview, Secretary Abaya never said that Secretary Roxas’ decision to do the hybrid PPP caused delay in the rollout of the projects. In fact, what Secretary Abaya stressed in the interview was that a review of the government’s PPP policy resulted in huge savings for the government.
Secretary Abaya also said in the interview that since most of the projects are linear and have very close implementation gaps, one option is to outsource some components of the projects, such as the engineering or legal segments, including the conduct of feasibility studies, in parallel with other components to fast-track the rollout of the projects.
On the issue of the hybrid PPP scheme, the inclusion of the Overseas Development Assistance component to fund PPP projects resulted in the government’s reconfiguring of several onerous projects of the past administration.
We would like to emphasize that the Department of Transportation and Communications has been directed to undertake all transport infrastructure projects efficiently and at the least cost for the taxpayer or the user. We are doing this because it’s the right thing to do. Not because of politics, not because we want to look good, but simply because we earnestly want to guard and protect the people’s money as if it were our own.
—RENE K. LIMCAOCO,
undersecretary for planning and infrastructure projects,
Department of Transportation and Communications