Achieving better quality of life through PPPs
WHAT is the true purpose of publicprivate partnerships (PPPs)? What is the meaning of better quality of life? How can PPPs help achieve this state? How do we determine if better quality of life is, in fact, attained? What are the possible metrics?
PPPs are anchored on several value drivers. The government will enter into collaborative arrangements with the private sector, as against doing projects by themselves, to pursue a policy, address resource scarcity; allow the private sector to introduce innovation; allocate and share risks; and implement projects for better value-for-money. On the part of the private-sector proponents, they need to make revenues for the benefit of their shareholders.
What is not expressly factored in this equation is the true north of PPPs. The real purpose of PPPs is better quality of life for the people. The enumerated reasons for PPPs must not be detached from this true north. The people must be at the heart of this development and change strategy.
- DILG LGU P4. The message must not just be inferred or assumed. We may take a cue from the recent policy statement of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). In DILG Memorandum Circular 120, Series of 2016, issued by incumbent Secretary Ismael D. Sueno, P3 shall be pursued and tagged as P4 or PPP for the People. The message and the policy are clear. The accountability of the government should be measured against this.
- Comparative and superlative. PPPs as a transformational vehicle must be geared toward changing the status quo. The now must be compared to the expected future and the future must be better, not just good or so-so. The Pakistan framework provides a succinct description of the superlative state that PPPs must bring about. PPPs are utilized for “more services, better services, affordable services and timely services.” “More” and “better” are the key words here.
- Ambisyon Natin 2040 as guide. The National Economic and Development Authority conducted a national survey on the aspirations of the Filipino people.The results show that most Filipinos are not wishing for affluent or rich lives. “In 2040 we will all enjoy a stable and comfortable lifestyle, secure in the knowledge that we have enough for our daily needs and unexpected expenses, that we can plan and prepare for our own and our children’s futures. Our families live together in a place of our own, yet we have the freedom to go where we desire, protected and enabled by a clean, efficient and fair government.”
- Personal and local levels. The people must feel the benefit. According to the dean of Social Sciences of the Ateneo, Dr. Nandy Aldaba, “Development [should be] concretely felt at the personal and local level. Personal development is measured in terms of physical, behavioral and mental changes, while local development is gauged in terms of progress seen in the environment or community where one lives. Thus, inclusive development occurs only when a citizen experiences such tangible changes at the personal and local levels.”
The challenge now is how to measure better quality of life.