PPP Conversations #3 with Makati Mayor Abby

PPP Conversations #3 with Makati Mayor Abby

 A professor can be no prouder when his or her student makes his or her own distinct mark in the field of local governance, the subject this columnist teaches at the Ateneo Law School. Abby Binay-Campos is one such student. Now the chief executive of Makati City, the country’s financial hub, Mayor Abby wants to be at the forefront of public-private partnerships (PPPs). Her passion, no-nonsense and innovative kind of leadership will surely make Makati people—or Makatizen—driven.

What is your concept of PPP?

Makati has been a pioneering advocate of the PPP concept even before its codification. The city believes in harnessing the resources and expertise of the private sector in all facets of development, especially as it involves the proprietary activities of the city.

What makes PPP a viable and preferred development strategy at the local level?

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Makati City has always maintained the policy that business must be left to the businessmen, and the government must only be there to provide the environment for business to grow and become successful. This policy is carried over in the proprietary activities of the city. PPP has allowed the city to engage entities who are expert in their fields to be partners in various activities of the city, thereby ensuring efficiency in management and operations. PPP also allowed the city to earn additional revenues from otherwise cost-center activities.

Is Makati City ready for PPPs? Why?

Yes. Perhaps even when the term PPP was not yet popular, Makati City was already implementing projects that were predicated on a partnership with the private sector.

As early as the 1990s, mindful of the needs of the working class and the need to regulate “canteens” operating out of unsanitary and dilapidated jeepneys—the “jolly-jeeps”—Makati City used the PPP model to promote a program that would benefit the employees of business establishments and the Makatizens. In 2002 the city explored the partnership with the private sector for education and employment programs. Makati was the first local government educational institution to partner with companies under the dual license education system.

Continuing the strong advocacy of the PPP approach toward development, the city recently entered into an agreement with a Chinese realty developer to conduct a feasibility study for a mass housing project that can benefit over 5,000 informal-settler families.

What are the challenges and risks of local PPPs?

One of the major challenges that Makati City faces is determining what projects should be under a PPP program or under the regular procurement of the city. Under a PPP, the private sector expects to earn a profit from its participation. But not all projects of the city are geared for profit. Thus, the city must be able to balance the interest of the private entity to earn a profit and the interest of the Makatizen to receive social services and other benefits from the City.

What is your message to the public?

Makatizens can expect more PPP programs specifically in the areas of information technology, communication, transportation and delivery of basic services, making Makati City the trailblazer in PPPs.

as in the PPP landscape. Thank you, Ayala.

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