PPP for Marawi City and Tacloban City
How does a city reel from the devastation of war, like Marawi City, and from a calamity, like Tacloban City? After combat operations in Marawi have been declared terminated and, after four years since Supertyphoon Yolanda lashed its fury on Tacloban, how can the government reconstruct and rehabilitate, and provide, in an expeditious manner, more and better, yet affordable, services? Who will finance and build the destroyed homes, hospitals, markets, roads, bridges, irrigation systems, schools and water-supply facilities?
One Way. Using government resources, appropriated or donated, and building facilities, either through procurement or by administration, Marawi can be “modernized” and Tacloban rebuilt. For Marawi and Tacloban then, P5 billion and P26 billion have been initially earmarked, respectively.However, this is not the only approach available.
The alternative. The other way, which can be undertaken with the first, is to pursue public-private partnerships (PPPs). “Build, Build, Build” can also happen through this alternative developmental approach whereby the private sector can codesign, cofinance, codevelop, co-implement, coconstruct, comanage and coown a project.
PPP Projects. In these two cities, PPPs can be undertaken for hospitals, roads, bridges and socialized housing. Other than rebuilding and rehabilitating what was destroyed, new projects can be implemented. Reclamation, monorail and other public transport systems, market development, bulk water supply and water distribution can also happen through PPPs. These hard and soft projects can be done singly or as part of a bigger whole, a bundled project.
Public side. Within the territory of Marawi and Tacloban, there are various government agencies that can enter into PPP arrangements for the benefit of the city governments and their respective constituencies. For example, if these two cities would want a monorail project, aside from the city governments themselves, their respective provincial governments, the Department of Transportation, the Philippine National Railways and Light Rail Transit Authority can partner with the private sector.
PPP ordinance. A comprehensive PPP ordinance, which allows the choice of 24 modalities can be adopted by Marawi and Tacloban City governments. They could use the PPP template ordinance attached to Memorandum Circular 120, series of 2016 issued by the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG MC). In said template, joint ventures, long-term leases and local concessions can be explored.
“Skin in the game.” To enhance the trust of private-sector proponents in partnering with government, Marawi and Tacloban, and other agencies, must cocontribute and cosupport the projects. Participation can come in the form of financial support, minimum revenue guarantees, use of government land, tax exemption, incentives and award of concession.
Long-term solution. Having the private sector as partner in a long-term PPP arrangement could ensure continuity and sustainability of projects. Solutions must be strategic, not “band-aid” and palliative.
“True North.” Regardless of the strategy, the core of all government projects and initiatives must be advanced. Under the DILG MC, the true north is captured by another “P”—the People, or P4—PPP for the People.