Estrada signs ordinance to fast-track projects
Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has signed into law an ordinance that would speed up the city’s joint venture (JV) projects by cutting through red tape.
“I’m in a hurry because I have only two years left (as mayor),” Estrada said in an interview, citing his plans to redevelop Manila Zoo, the Lacson Underpass and Central Market with the help of the private sector.
“There’s a lot of red tape. The Central Market project needs the approval of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board while [a] reclamation project also has to go through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. I only have one term. And we saw a jurisprudence that a joint venture would be enough,” Estrada said.
Last week, he signed the Manila JV Ordinance “governing joint ventures between the City of Manila and private sector partners, providing for the procedures for identifying joint venture projects and selecting joint venture partners, instituting accountability mechanism, and for other purposes.”
Asked if this would allow Manila to railroad projects for approval without undergoing scrutiny from the national government, Councilor Marlon Lacson, author of the ordinance, said that all joint venture programs would “still have to go through applicable laws.”
“What happens is that an entirely local project has to go through the national government. It’s very limiting for the local government. This will give us elbow room to partner with private companies,” he added.
“This is not a shortcut, it’s just one mode that the city may use in entering into an agreement with private sector,” he said.
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