Build. Build. Build: What the Philippines Infrastructure Agenda Means For B.C. Companies

Build. Build. Build: What the Philippines Infrastructure Agenda Means For B.C. Companies

March 22, 2017 Posted by Amrinder Sandhar

The following is a guest blog from Eva Yazon, Managing Director of the B.C. Trade and Investment Representative Office in Manila
 
Call to Action for B.C. Companies
 
BUILD, BUILD, BUILD is the commitment of the government of the Philippines as it addresses the country’s significant infrastructure needs.
 
The Philippine government recently announced a total budget of PHP 8 trillion (C$217B) for public infrastructure spending from 2017-2022. For 2017 alone, PHP 861B (C$23B) has been budgeted, representing 5.4% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). This figure does not include public-private Partnership projects which will continue under the current administration. 
 
Historically, infrastructure spending in the Philippines averaged only around 2% of its GDP. In 2010, infrastructure development was made a top priority by the Philippine government to solve the infrastructure backlog of the country and propel the Philippines on a growth path at par with its ASEAN neighbours. As a result, a pipeline of major projects was rolled out for private sector partnerships. To date, four projects have been completed with another 12 in various stages of procurement under the government’s public-private partnership program.        
 
The current infrastructure agenda is seen as the biggest and most ambitious in the Philippines’ history. It includes construction of more roads and bridges, mass urban transport systems and alternative green city solutions.
 
For the first time, an inter-agency body, composed of all the lead agencies for infrastructure development such as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) was created and tasked to coordinate and hasten the implementation of  the Philippine government’s infrastructure program. 
 
 Infrastructure projects expected to be completed by June 2022 include:
 
  1. Metro Manila Bus Rapid Transit System;
  2. Mindanao Railway involving 2,000 kilometers of rail around the island of Mindanao;
  3. Clark International Airport New Terminal Building;
  4. Manila to Clark International Airport Railway;
  5. Clark Green City near the Clark International Airport;
  6. Subic-Clark cargo railway project; and
  7. Modernization of the regional airports.
 
These projects will be subject to public tender under the Philippines’ procurement laws after completion of their feasibility studies. 
 
The government will undertake these infrastructure projects either via public-private partnerships or through official development assistance. Unsolicited proposals are also welcome for projects not in the government’s pipeline.    
 
British Columbia companies can participate in these infrastructure projects by providing transaction advisory services during the project development phase or by joining a private sector consortium bidding for the delivery of each project. 
 
For more information on the infrastructure program of the Philippines, contact Eva Yazon, Managing Director of the BC Trade and Investment Representative Office in Manila at eyazon@britishcolumbia.ca.     
 
Background
 
The Philippines is among the fastest-growing economies in the world, with GDP growth of 6.3% expected in 2016. B.C. is the top Canadian provincial exporter to the Philippines, with $190 million in exports in 2015. Premier Christy Clark opened the new B.C. Trade and Investment Representative Office in Manila while on her spring 2016 trade mission to South Korea, the Philippines and Japan.
 
The new office in Manila supports B.C. companies seeking to do business in the Philippines and helps Philippine companies find investment opportunities in B.C. The Philippines is the centre of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region and a strategic location for B.C. to begin establishing an on-the-ground presence in Southeast Asia.
 
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