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Hop on the LGU P4 DILG bandwagon

Hop on the LGU P4 DILG bandwagon

LGU P4WHAT is this P4 Program for local govern-ment units(LGUs)? What is the difference between P4 and P3, or public-private partnership? What is the role of the Depart-ment of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in the promotion of P3/P4 at the local government level?

DILG memorandum circular (MC) issued. Last Tuesday, September 6, Secretary Ismael D. Sueño signed an MC setting into motion the department’s LGU P4 initiative. P4 stands for PPP for the People. The Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, private-sector umbrella organizations, PPP Center and the DILG family witnessed the issuance of this landmark regulation.

Clear message telegraphed. The messages are clear. The DILG wants to shift the focus of PPPs, from being pure transactions and project-based to being transformational and focused on the public good. PPPs must be advanced to serve the people, hence, the fourth P.  And the “people” should not be confined to people in Metro Manila, urban centers and Luzon. Secretary Sueño underscored the need to have more projects in Mindanao  and  the Visayas.

People as beneficiary and coparticipant. The people are more than just beneficiaries or recipients. They must participate in the whole process. Social accountability mechanisms must be in place to create venues for civil-society organizations to participate in this change strategy.

The suggested ordinance, consistent with 1991 Local Government Code, institutionalizes people participation.

PPP redefined under the MC. PPP must be viewed as both a strategy and a project-level undertaking. At the policy level, LGU P4 is a developmental, innovative, change and partnership strategy aimed at promoting the general welfare, inclusive growth and better quality of life of Filipinos.

At the project level, LGU P4 is a contractual arrangement between the LGU and the project proponent to deliver public infrastructure and/or public services where each party assumes specified functions, bears certain risks, provides contribution, performs particular obligations, and earns benefits and revenues.

Template P4 ordinance made public. Attached to the MC is a template PPP ordinance developed by this columnist. The sample ordinance contains 24 PPP modalities and urges LGUs to develop additional schemes. Three selection procedures are spelled out—competitive selection or bidding, competitive challenge or unsolicited proposals and
competitive negotiations.

Close to 100 projects. There are close to 100 projects listed in the model ordinance. The list ranges from big-ticket to small-ticket projects, and may be classified either as “hard” or infrastructure-related, or “soft” or social services-related projects. LGUs can undertake monorail, reclamation, road, bridge, water, septage and power projects. LGUs are also encouraged to improve existing public markets and expand the services to include an integrated transport terminal, abattoir, commercial spaces and restaurants. This is an example of a “bundled-type” project.

Broad  learning ecology. For P4 to be advanced as strategic and tactical strategy, local officials must be capacitated. During the launch, the Local Government Academy presented an overview of its ladderized capacity-development program. To complement this initiative, the PPP Center has, likewise, developed its set of training modules.

Let us build development at the local level. The bottom-up approach should not remain an empty rhetoric.

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