THE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION of the Philippines (MAP) is seeking the creation of a public-private sector advisory council for various sectors, in order to improve transparency and accountability in terms of government contracts.
“We suggest a strong joint public-private sector advisory council for specific areas like agriculture, trade and investment, infrastructure projects, energy, and water,” MAP President Rogelio L. Singson said during his keynote speech at the Arangkada Philippines Forum in Pasay City on Tuesday.
For instance, Mr. Singson said the government may discuss the draft concept of a project with the private sector and potential investors before the final terms of reference are published.
“This opens us for transparency and accountability,” he added.
Mr. Singson said collaboration between the public and private sectors is essential and “will definitely redound to the faster economic recovery of the Philippines.”
He noted there should be more cooperation among government infrastructure agencies, and that the roles and responsibilities are “clearly defined” in the review and approval process of public-private partnerships (PPP).
“There are just too many reviews and government institutions involved in the review process… Another area of improvement is for government infrastructure agencies to get together and make sure that all government infrastructure projects being implemented are coordinated according to a government infrastructure master plan,” Mr. Singson said.
“More often than not, many of the delays in PPP projects whether local or foreign investments are due to the delays in the delivery of government responsibilities,” he added.
Meanwhile, Shinichiro Shimada, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines president, said the Philippines can maximize its potential if it continues to “reform, rebuild, and recover.”
“We believe in the enormous potential of the Philippines as a foreign direct investment destination and the capability of the Philippine government with support from private sector to pursue and implement the necessary reforms and policies to improve the investment climate and competitiveness of the country,” he added.
Meanwhile, Chamber of Mines of the Philippines Chairman Michael T. Toledo said the mining industry could recover with the help of stable regulations.
“As long as these minerals are on the ground, these are worthless. We need to bring them out of the ground… What we need is a stable regulatory and legal framework. A business cannot plan long term if after passing a law, suddenly after one or two years, you change,” Mr. Toledo said. — R.M.D.Ochave