PPP Conversations #7 with Center for Global Best Practices
The Center for Global Best Practices (CGBP) stands out as a leader in public-private partnership (PPP) knowledge building and sharing. From 2011 to this month, CGBP has organized 16 seminars on PPPs and joint ventures. Before the current year ends, it will host another one.
Its last seminar on PPP, just this month, was attended by more than 100 representatives from government agencies, local governments, private companies, cooperatives, banks, land developers and law firms. Around 1,500 PPP stake-holders have learned about the basics of PPPs, and the various modalities of this alternative development strategy, as well as the challenges of PPP projects. The participants have gained insights on the future and opportunities of PPPs while, at the same time, appreciating the risks of dealing with the government.
AT the helm of CGBP is a dynamic, creative and driven leader. CGBP President and founder Henry Aquende shares his thoughts on PPP. His definition of PPP is broad and not restricted to any particular law or modality. He posits that any business-oriented partnership between government and the private sector is a PPP. He considers PPPs not as an end but a means to accelerate country development.
Aquende recognizes the growing interest on learning about PPPs while he expresses caution over PPP successor risk—when the next administration discontinues projects entered into by the predecessor.
What is your concept of PPP?
It is when the private sector does business with the government through partnership agreements.
How do you size up the learning initiatives on PPP? How do you assess the level of PPP knowledge and interest of stakeholders?
We are fortunate to have a PPP Center, which does information campaign on the topic and those seminars initiated by the CBGP in collaboration with PPP expert and practitioner lawyer Alberto C. Agra.
There is more awareness now on PPP and there is a continued interest among different stakeholders on the topic, heightened by the new government’s thrust on hybrid PPPs.
What makes PPP a viable and preferred development strategy?
PPP can be likened to different modes of transportation that bring you to your final destination. Without appropriate transportation, your speed of travel will be so slow. The Philippines needs PPP to speed up the development in the country.
What are the challenges and risks of PPP?
In general, implementation is a challenge while one of the biggest risks is the continuity of the project when a new government takes over. An example among many others is the right of way issue for road infrastructures.
What is your message to the public?
For the private sector, get involved in PPPs to help your country. For the government sector, be an enabler. Build opportunities to identify and create as many PPP projects the private sector can partner with the government.