‘Responsive-ility’ and responsibility
Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements—whether for water, reclamation, power, mass transport systems and land development projects—are never intended to glorify or only serve the interests of the parties who sign the contracts. While benefits may be drawn by the government/implementing agency (IA), the first “P,” and the private sector proponent (PSP), the second “P,” as a consequence of the partnership, the third “P,” the direct and ultimate beneficiary of any PPP project must be the fourth “P”—the people or the public good.
While “PPP for the People” (P4) for some may be over- dramatic, the purpose of this development strategy must be underscored, not dismissed, downplayed and laughed at, and certainly should not be scoffed at. We must be constantly reminded of the “why” so that we may determine not just the “how” but more so the breadth of the formal, legal and moral accountabilities of the parties.
Thus, to future-proof the PPP is to future-proof the purpose of PPP. All PPPs must directly, not just incidentally, contribute to a better quality of life for Filipinos. The people need more services, better services, affordable services and timely services. This must be explicit, defined, measurable, captured in performance indicators and auditable by the communities, the intended beneficiaries.