Expect more PPP projects — incoming NEDA chief

Expect more PPP projects — incoming NEDA chief

Socioeconomic planning chief Arsenio Balisacan. (Photo: ABS-CBN News)

By Tracy Cabrera

MANILA — Both incoming secretaries of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and Department of Finance (DoF) favor pursuing more public-private partnerships (PPP) in the next six years of the new administration under recently proclaimed president Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr.

According to NEDA’s Arsenio Balisacan, who served the same position under the late former president Benigno Simeon ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III, reinvigorating the PPP is considered a priority as it is believed it would “address the fiscal bind” now being experienced by the country.

“We will reach out to the private sector because we believe that the private sector plays a very strong role in economic development. It is my firm view that without the private sector we can’t really expect to go far,” the socioeconomic planning chief disclosed in an interview.

He is also proposing the revival of the country’s manufacturing sector which he hopes would reduce the poverty rate, address socioeconomic inequities and accelerate growth across the country.

“The lesson of recent history is if you have a robust manufacturing sector in the early stages of your development, poverty reduction is so fast and is likely sustainable,” Balicasan pointed out.

For his part, finance secretary Benjamin Diokno announced that foreign investors can now participate in the “more than 80 implementation-ready projects” that the Marcos administration will inherit from its predecessor.

The incoming finance chief noted that it would be best for Marcos Jr. not to “micromanage” his economic team and instead give it enough elbow room to fulfill its mandate of fast-tracking the country’s recovery.

“Being a president, you should not micromanage. That’s why you have a Cabinet. You choose the best and the brightest. You empower them so that you won’t be burdened by all the problems in the world,” Diokno stressed.

“So, the best and the brightest strong cabinet. I think that works, but if you micromanage, that will be your downfall,” he added.

However, Balisacan spelled out that among the “high priorities” president-in-waiting Bongbong Marcos should particularly ask his economic team to focus on digitizing government transactions.

This, he said, would help the government to address priority issues like graft and corruption as well as concerns of lagging digitization of potential investors. (ai/mtvn)

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