PPP conversations #8 with Bataan Gov. Abet

PPP conversations #8 with Bataan Gov. Abet

One Bataan. One provincial public-private partnerships (PPPs) ordinance. One component city and 10 municipalities with PPP policies. All 237 barangays following the provincial PPP ordinance. Seven awarded and pending PPP projects…and more.

Indeed, the whole of Bataan is PPP-ready…and it is not just ready on paper. PPP is now a bureaucracy-wide, development-oriented, people-centric and public good-driven strategy in the whole province. While no one person or leader can claim credit, critical to this enviable reality is the innovative, performance-based and democratic leadership of the young father of the province—Gov. Albert “Abet” S. Garcia.

One Bataan. One provincial public-private partnerships (PPPs) ordinance. One component city and 10 municipalities with PPP policies. All 237 barangays following the provincial PPP ordinance. Seven awarded and pending PPP projects…and more.

Indeed, the whole of Bataan is PPP-ready…and it is not just ready on paper. PPP is now a bureaucracy-wide, development-oriented, people-centric and public good-driven strategy in the whole province. While no one person or leader can claim credit, critical to this enviable reality is the innovative, performance-based and democratic leadership of the young father of the province—Gov. Albert “Abet” S. Garcia.

PPP Lead chats with the dynamic governor.

What is your concept of PPPs?

Public-Private Partnership (PPP) is an effective mechanism for government and the private sector to collaborate and combine their respective resources in order to promote economic growth, thereby creating jobs and opportunities, and advance much-needed public services to directly benefit the people.

What makes PPP a viable and preferred development strategy at all levels?

PPP is a viable strategy because it allows government to look at options to push development beyond its very limited resources whether from local or national. It also enables government to engage a strategic private partner, which possesses not only much-needed resources, but, more important, the core competence specific to any particular relevant project, whether it be a ferry operation, bus rapid transit system, redevelopment of a government compound, information-technology solutions, sanitary landfill, public-market development, construction of transport terminal, etc.. In other words, government can choose the most competent private partner to get the best deal for the people and ensure the success of the project.

What makes the province ready for PPPs?

For a province to be PPP ready, it must have an environment conducive for business and investment. Presence of rule of law, peace and order, government officials willing to facilitate business rather than giving it a hard time. Also a PPP ordinance as legal basis for all PPP projects the province will enter into is critical.

What are the challenges and risks of local PPPs?

For the challenges and risks, just like with other government transactions, PPP can be subject to abuse and corruption, political harassment, especially with change of public officials, legal obstacles, etc. So it’s very important to have the right intentions and follow the correct process to minimize risks and challenges of local PPPs.

What is your message to the public?

IN my humble opinion, local PPP is heaven sent to local government units. We know the challenges of generating local resources and begging the national government to fund our priority programs and projects. With PPP, we are given another solution to promote growth, development, creation of wealth and advance social and public services. We should, by all means, take advantage of this opportunity that makes us more competitive and provide a better quality of life for our people at the soonest possible time. This is the ultimate reason why we were elected into office in the first place.

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