Asian Development Bank: British “Don’t miss the train” Invest PPP in the Philippines

Bridge Linking Cebu Airport - The Mactan Cebu International Airport 

British firms being wooed to invest in PPP

British firms are being urged to consider opportunities in the Philippines as the government is rolling out its public-private partnership (PPP) projects and as the country's investment climate is improving.

Speaking at the PPP and Infrastructure Forum and Mission, Asian Development Bank (ADB) country economist Aziz Haydarov said it is time to look at available opportunities in the Philippines as the government is looking for partners for various infrastructure projects.

"Don't miss the train," he said.

For his part, British Ambassador to the Philippines Stephen Lillie shared the same view, citing that huge opportunities are available here for British companies as reforms have been undertaken by the Philippine government to improve the business environment through anti-corruption efforts.

He said the reforms undertaken are among the reasons why British companies are keen to be engaged in the country.

"I believe the time is right to take this cooperation to a new level. The commercial opportunities in the Philippines are huge...Investment now can be the platform needed for sustained growth in the years ahead," he said.

Government officials said opportunities are available in the transport and health sectors.

Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said opportunities are in the transport sector such as the extension of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 to Cavite, the unified ticketing system for all railways, as well as the development of the Mactan-Cebu International airport, among others.

Cebu Airport - The Mactan Cebu International Airport

In the health sector, Health undersecretary Teodoro Herbosa said in the same event that several opportunities are likewise available as the government is looking to modernize hospitals to provide health care.

In particular, Herbosa said, the government is working on the modernization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center which would involve the construction of a 700-bed capacity hospital within the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City.

The government, he added, is planning to set-up eight cancer centers in the country with cancer being a common cause of death among Filipinos.

"The government owns two cancer centers, one in Tagum in Davao and one in the Lung Center (of the Philippines), but the World Health Organization (WHO) says we need more," he said.

Representatives of some British firms such as healthcare technology solutions provider GE Healthcare, structural, civil and geotechnical solutions provider Tony Gee & Partners, as well as Arup, which offers design, engineering and consultancy services, said they are interested in PPP projects and are looking at how they can participate in these.

Haydarov also said that even as the ADB has already extended technical assistance to the Philippine government for the PPP program, it is still "more than willing to offer assistance" for the undertaking.

"The pipeline has developed. There is much more confirmed or ready to go pipeline. That all catalyses activity," he said.

philSTAR

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