Walk the talk! Talk the walk!
This was the challenge posed to the participants of the most recent seminar organized by the Local Government Academy (LGA)-Department of Interior and Local Governments on public-private partnerships (PPPs).
Fourteen cities. Last week officials from 14 cities attended the “Enhancing Local Governance, Accountability and Reform through PPP-Technical, Financial and Environmental, Review of Policy and Legal Framework” offered by LGA. Elective and career officials from the Cities of Pasig, Malabon, Tabuk, San Fernando (La Union), San Carlos, Alaminos, Dagupan, Santiago, Muñoz, San Pablo, Santa Rosa, Puerto Princesa and Carcar actively participated in the three-day seminar from September 6 to 8.
Ladderized program. This module is second of the three-stage ladderized program developed by LGA in partnership with this columnist. The first module was focused on the policy and legal framework of PPPs. LGA has hosted five of this, to date. The seminar staged last week delved on the technical, financial and environmental aspects of PPPs. The third stage will touch on preparing PPP contracts and terms of reference.
Walk-the-talk. To ensure that PPP will not remain just a PowerPoint Presentation (the “Talk”), each module has concrete take-aways for the participating local government units. These are: proposed PPP ordinance and general term sheet of a project; prefeasibility study in term sheet form; and draft contract and terms of reference, respectively. The organizers hope that projects geared for the public good will be implemented under this development strategy (the “Walk”).
Bundling approach. In the three-day seminar, which accommodated three workshops, the cities explored options on developing public markets, convention centers, solid-waste management facilities, ports, sports complexes, terminals and socialized-housing units. Most of them would want to pursue joint ventures under the “bundling” approach—waste-to-energy, sports complex with commercial spaces, or markets with terminals. This would mean, as emphasized by this columnist, more projects under one contract and single competitive process with greater revenues, therefore more share for the parties and more services for the people realized sooner rather than later.
PPP-ready. They are receptive to unsolicited proposals from the private sector. They will, likewise, conduct willingness-and-ability-to-pay surveys and market sounding activities as part of the consultative and participatory processes required under their respective PPP frameworks.
Talk-the-walk. Another challenge raised was for the participants to help promote PPP for the people and expand the PPP Learning Ecology. Learning entails responsibility and leadership. They are tasked to talk-the-walk. These cities are much more than their local delicacies, artistahin mayors, friendly smiles, and visionary and democratic leadership. The future is bright for all of us.
Kudos to LGA. Kudos to the other resource persons—Engr. Rex Chan and Arch. Boie Alli. Kudos to the 14 cities that participated in the event.
Personal note. Just last Saturday, I learned a new rope-climbing technique in my pursuit of being better in obstacle course racing. Old dogs can learn new tricks. All it takes is humility, openness, perseverance and commitment.