Commuters line up at the Main Avenue station of the EDSA bus carousel in Quezon City, July 18, 2022. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

THE government is consulting the private sector on how to make two key transportation projects more attractive to potential public-private partnership (PPP) investors, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) said.

The transportation projects up for PPP include the busway system project along Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the North Long Haul Inter-Regional Railway (NCR-Ilocos, Cagayan), the department said in a statement.

On its website, the PPP Center said it is supporting the DoTr in developing transport projects through PPPs.

“These projects are identified as priority PPP projects to contribute to the improvement of transportation infrastructure and establishment of livable and sustainable communities,” the PPP Center said.

“As part of the initial stage of project development, the PPP Center and the DoTr are conducting the preliminary market-sounding activity to solicit insights and feedback on the project terms from interested private sector partners,” it added.

The activity also aims to ascertain the level of interest of the private sector in undertaking the projects and identify potential issues that will deter investment.

The activity will run until Nov. 23 with responses taken via e-mail correspondence and questionnaires.

Following the two projects, the Manila Bay-Pasig River-Laguna Lake Ferry System will also be put through a market-sounding exercise by the PPP Center, according to the DoTr. 

The department said the PPP Center manages the Project Development and Monitoring Facility or PDMF, which supports feasibility studies for PPP projects.

“The DoTr has applied to utilize these funds for its upcoming transportation PPP projects,” it noted.

“The preliminary market sounding activity is part of the process of PPPC’s approval process of DoTr’s application for funding. The cost estimate for the PPP projects will be (validated in) the feasibility study.”

On Wednesday, the Department of Public Works and Highways said the government is studying ways to improve the unsolicited proposal system.

“We will improve the unsolicited proposal system (to) allow more unsolicited proposals for priority projects,” Undersecretary for Planning and Public-Private Partnership Maria Catalina E. Cabral said at a transport forum in Pasay City.

There are moves to amend the process of challenging the original project proponent, Ms. Cabral noted. “We are looking at revising the right-to-match process.” — Arjay L. Balinbin