Aquino belittles past admins’ gains, says ‘you ain’t seen nothing yet’
MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday highlighted the gains of his administration, including projects under the public-private partnership (PPP) program.
“If you will allow me to make a quick comparison: The past three administrations combined were only able to complete six solicited PPP projects,” Aquino said during the Philippines Investment Forum in Makati.
“On the other hand, under our administration, nine projects have been awarded; 16 are in the process of being bid out; and more than 30 other projects are under various stages of development,” he said.
The PPP has long been touted by the Aquino administration but it has also been criticized and questioned by critics. Some said it is mostly hype.
According to the PPP Center, the nine projects that have already been awarded were the Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway (Slex) Link Road Project (P2.24 billion), the PPP for School Infrastructure Project (PSIP) Phase I (P16.28 billion), PSIP Phase II (P3.86 billion), Naia Expressway Phase II Project (P23.9 billion), Modernization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center (P5.62 billion), Automatic Fare Collection System (P2.24 billion), Mactan-Cebu International Airport Passenger Terminal Building (P34.33 billion), LRT Line I Cavite Extension including operation and maintenance (P44.65 billion), and the Integrated Transport System – Southwest Terminal Project (P3.15 billion).
Below is a copy of the PPP Center report as of March 10, 2015:
Aquino deplored that all the pieces of good news remain “relegated to the back pages of broadsheets.”
“While it is true that we have had our share of setbacks and challenges, we also have an impressive number of achievements under our belt,” he told hundreds of businessmen attending the event.
The President said 2014 was a “banner year for net foreign direct investment,” which reached $6.2 billion. Meanwhile, gross domestic product growth from 2010 to 2013 was at 6.3 percent, higher than 4.3 percent under the term of former President and Pampanga congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
This is in addition to the Philippines being upgraded to investment grade by three credit ratings agencies.
“Our administration remains hard at work so that we can maximize every opportunity available to us, and I think many of you will agree with me when I say: You ain’t seen nothing yet,” he said.
In addition to improving infrastructure, Aquino said his administration has focused on the power sector.
The business sector has been concerned with the country’s energy situation, especially with threats of power outages during the summer.
Aquino said that while the total dependable capacity of 15,664 megawatts is enough to meet the projected demand level for the year, it still has to take into consideration the threat of El Niño and the rehabilitation of the Malampaya gas field.
“Government has been pursuing an entire menu of options to address this projected shortfall,” he said as his request for emergency powers remain pending in Congress.
The President said in addition to the rehabilitation of the 300 MW Malaya thermal power plant, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines has also been requested to “optimize the dispatch of hydropower plants.”
“Partnerships with the private sector have also proved useful: Under the Interruptible Load Program, as of January 2015, 252 participants have signed up to use their own generators and de-load a total of 688.67 megawatts during times when power supply is too tight,” he said. AC
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