Valenzuela City Congressman Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian urged Malacanang to fast-track its Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program as this will translate into more job opportunities that are needed to sustain the country’s economic growth.
Gatchalian, a senior vice chair of the House committee on Metro Manila development, specifically called on the PPP Center to expedite the process of awarding infrastructure projects given their slow roll-out ever since President Noynoy Aquino bared the program during his first State of the Nation Address or SONA in 2010.
Only seven out of 57 identified projects under the PPP have been awarded as of August 8, data from the PPP Center showed.
“It would be greatly beneficial to the economy if the PPP process will be revisited to make it faster without sacrificing safeguards against corruption. Timetables should also be reviewed to adjust the timing of infrastructure projects,” said Gatchalian.
The solon noted that sufficient infrastructure is essential for the transport of goods and services and is therefore a requirement in enticing investors to open shop in the country.
“The problem is not the lack of funds anymore as we are solving this through PPP and with the help of our development partners. The projects have already been identified years ago yet the whole process is still snail-paced,” he pointed out.
Gatchalian issued the statement as the International Monetary Fund or IMF called on the government to improve its business environment to attract investments and increase employment, saying the country should take advantage of its “favorable demographics”.
“Favorable demographics are a missed opportunity if the economy cannot effectively absorb the growing working-age population. Better domestic job opportunities would reduce poverty, thereby curtailing outward migration and the accompanying social hardships and sustained remittance inflows that can complicate macroeconomic management in the absence of compensating productivity gains,” the IMF said last week.
Gatchalian said the IMF statement should serve as a wake-up call to the Aquino administration that employment generation should remain a top priority especially amid the looming energy shortage next year that might result to temporary disenfranchisement of workers.
Gatchalian also said the four impeachment complaints filed against President Aquino should not distract the chief executive from focusing on the more urgent issues of job generation and promoting inclusive growth.
A fourth impeachment complaint against President Aquino was filed today by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) for allegedly violating his oath of office and breaking the law by perpetuating the system of Congressional pork barrel despite the Supreme Court decision declaring it unconstitutional. (Monica Cantilero)