APEC Cebu Action Plan can address Philippines’ infrastructure needs, says Finance Secretary

September 16, 2015 6:12 am 

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu, Sept. 15 — The Cebu Action Plan (CAP) can address the Philippines’ growing need for infrastructure development, which could then provide long-term solutions to issues in traffic management, flood control, and even the entry of foreign investments.

At the joint press conference of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) finance ministers’ meeting last week, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima highlighted the importance of the action plan’s fourth pillar — the acceleration of infrastructure development and financing — in helping the country improve its infrastructure.

One of this pillar’s main agenda is to maximize the role of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) through the PPP Center, which serves as the central coordinating and monitoring agency for all PPP projects in the Philippines.

Secretary Purisima noted that this has been established with the help of APEC member australia and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

“It is this nature of cooperation that I think will make into reality the fourth pillar, which is increasing financing available for infrastructure. The hope is that participation in PPPs can be much easier for companies in the APEC region,” he added.

Notably, some of the projects under the PPP are major road construction and port rehabilitation that can address the country’s traffic management issue.

According to the PPP Center, its pipeline of projects include the Daang Hari-SLEX Link Road, NAIA Expressway Project, Automatic Fare Collection System, Mactan-Cebu International Airport Passenger Terminal Building, Cavite-Laguna Expressway, Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, and MRT Line 7.

The action plan indicates that “infrastructure development is a key priority of this (Aquino) administration,” and that the Philippines “has also made vital fiscal data public and has implemented reforms in the budget process” to accommodate the need for infrastructure development.

The Cebu Action Plan is a development roadmap for the Asia-Pacific region that was drafted by the Philippines with inputs from other APEC member economies, multilateral organizations, and the private sector through the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). It was launched here last Friday.

While a non-binding formation, APEC meetings are able to set domestic, regional, and industrial policies to achieve free and open trade and investment in the Asia Pacific.

The APEC's 21 member economies are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, US, and Vietnam, and the Philippines. (PNA)

SCS/PND/SSC

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