The transport deals of the year were vetted by the magazine’s team of journalists and shortlisted via a weighting system based on categories.
The 88 kilometer-two lane TPLEX connecting Central and Northern Luzon is a first of its kind to be implemented through public-private partnership (PPP) in pursuing the objective of developing an all Filipino infrastructure project.
DPWH Sec. Rogelio Singson said that the citation from no-less than an international magazine with global subscribers for an all-Filipino road project is a confirmation that Philippines is doing the right approach for infrastructure development.
The DPWH has undertaken reforms needed to create a more transparent and conducive environment for private business and help generate many more bankable projects.
The administration of President Benigno S. Aquino recognizes PPP as an approach to invest resources for adequate road infrastructure inasmuch as the national government has less financial resources to invest on expressways.
The project was awarded through bidding by the DPWH to the concession of Private Infrastructure Development Corporation (PIDC) led by San Miguel Corporation and D.M. Consunji, Inc.
Compared to earlier transportation projects, bidding award for TPLEX Project was based on lowest toll offered rather than lowest construction cost. The bidders were also compelled to provide letters of interest from lenders rather than underwritten commitments.
Financing for the project by three banks — BDO Unibank, Development Bank of the Philippines and Land Bank of the Philippines — manifests the increasing confidence of the banking sector in undertaking large infrastructure, said Singson.
The project also employed a contractor-led process that essentially involved the project company serving as its own engineering, procurement and construction contractor. Presently, the concerted effort of six contractors — R.D. Policarpio & Co., C.M. Pancho Construction Inc., New Kanlaon Construction, Inc., D.M. Wenceslao & Associates, J.E. Manalo & Company, and D.M. Consunji, Inc. has posted 67% cumulative work accomplishment for Section 1 of the project covering Tarlac City to Carmen, Pangasinan.
Also under PPP framework, the concession agreement for the 4-kilometer Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway Link Road Project won by the Ayala group during the December 2011 open, transparent and competitive bidding.
The company, known for creating “destination” projects, is spending P4.5 billion this year for an island tourism resort getaway, an office tower, and retailand club complex in the premier business district.
“This is just the start,” Atty. Mario Oreta, president of Alphaland Corp., told guests at the Asia CEO Forum.. “We’ve gone along way but still have a long way to go,”
Also to be completed is the podium of of the residential three-tower Alphaland Makati Place that will have five levels of parking, three levels of high-end mall and a city club catering to middle executives. Scheduled for completion is the Alphaland Makati Tower on Ayala Avenue, which will have an iconic design and is likely to be the “prettiest building” on that stretch.
In 2014, Alphaland will start work on its 32-hectare Marina and Bay City project located between Mall of Asia and Pagcor Entertainment City. It will build first aworld-class 2.5-billion-peso marina that will have 20 yachts for free use to members.
By 2015, the company expects the completion of Shangri-La Hotel at Bonifacio Global City where it has a 20-percent stake. The hotel will be the Shangri-La Group’s fully ownedproperty in the country. Others in the pipeline include the Alphaland Boracay Getaway, a 500-hectare estate development near the airport at Caticlan, Aklan.
Founded in 2007, Alphaland is a joint venture between businessman Roberto “Bobby”Ongpin, Forbes’s 9th richest Filipino last year, and London-based privatee quity firm Ashmore Group, which has more than $65 billion of funds under management. Its first project is the 20-story Alphaland Southgate Tower on Edsa, an unfinished structure that the company has transformed into a modern building now a hub for call centers and outsourcing companies, and a retail and commercial center.
Oreta told the breakfast forum that seeks to highlight the Philippines as a viable business destination: “Are we going too fast? Yes. Are we non-corformist? Yes. Are we headed for a spectacular fall? I don’t think so. We have the resources and the passion.”
Oreta, along-time friend and former lawyer of Ongpin, trade minister for seven years under President Marcos, said Alphaland’s projects speak of the quality of hi sboss. “He’s demanding and a slave driver, but he is brilliant,” he said. “He is very controversial because he is very successful. The onlyway to stay with him is to be passionate.”
Industrial machinery and equipmentcontributing 5.1 percent to the total import bill was the fourth top import for the month amounting to $252.13 million, up by 23.5 percent compared to last year’s $204.18 million.
Organic and inorganic chemicals ranked sixth, comprising 2.6 percent of the total imports registered $130.60 million worth of imports, declined by 10.2 percent from its year ago level of $145.36 million.
Vibrant commercial and industrial activities inside the Clark Freeport, a former US airforce base, had steadily changed Central Luzon’s economic landscape following a surge in investments, exports, and employment generation 19 years since its inception in 1993.
In its recent 19th celebration, the CDC looks back at its colossal makeover from a United States military installation into bustling freeport by highlighting achievements that had created a positive impression on both the local and national economy.
Because of the growing business confidence of locators and investors, Clark is one among the economic zones in the country to benefit from the influx of new business and increase in expansion programs by big ticket local and international companies.
In 2011, the CDC earned a staggering $3.912 billion in exports – a historical 161 percent increase from the state-owned firm’s US$1.453 billion record in 2010 due to impressive performances of its locators and investors.
According to the CDC, the entry of Texas Instruments (TI) in 2010 made a remarkable contribution to the export industry of this bustling Freeport with the $1.53 billion it posted last year.
Aside from TI’s contribution to the CDC’s 2011 exports statistics, at least $124 million in estimated service exports from the Freeport’s Information Communications Technology and Business Process Outsourcing (ICT-BPO) sector counted for the state-owned firm’s 161%-record increase.
Also, Clark’s export performance is equivalent to around 8.1% of the estimated total Philippine exports of $48.5 billion in 2011.
The following firms were responsible for Clark’s record-high export increase: TI, $1.53 billion; Nanox Philippines, Inc., $791 million; Phoenix Semiconductor Philippines Corp., $566 million; Yokohama Tire Philippines, Inc. (YTPI), $298 million; L&T International Group Philippines, Inc., $145 million; and SMK Electronics (Phils) Corp., $98 million.
The top five exporting sectors of the Clark Freeport last year were electronics, $3.1 billion; tires, $298 million; garments, $226 million; other manufacturing, $131 millioin; aviation-related, $13.2 million and other sectors, $139 million for a total of $3.9 billion.
Clark’s employment statistics also posted a significant 6% growth of 64,055 workers last year compared to 60,162 in 2010 – the highest level of employment generated since the CDC’s inception in 1993.
Last year, CDC has registered a total of 207 projects with a total committed investment of P22.97 billion that would provide a employment of 8,206 workers.
Among the major investments signed last year include YTPI, which committed to infuse P14.62 billion and employment of 3,000 workers; SPT (Phil) Clark Corp., P285 million; Bonsure Everrich International, Inc., P192 million; and Jamco Philippines, Inc., P171 millioin.
Other investments registered in 2011 were United Asia Automotive Group, Inc.,$35-million investment for assembly lines for Foton vehicles; $50 million state-of-the-art Philippine Academy for Aviation Training of Cebu Pacific Air and the Canadian aviation training firm CAE.
Clark is one of the perfect travel destinations in Luzon that offers an array of world-class leisure and recreational facilities like 36-hole championship golf courses, residential villas, specialty shops and restaurants, duty free shops, firing range, leisure parks, waterpark, hotels, casinos, and nature sight-seeing area.
The CDC envisions a consistent enhancement of its revenue programs by a well-focused marketing strategy on transforming the Freeport into a premier logistics hub vis-à-vis a globally competitive economic hub.
Abaca expansion is a continuing program of the agency aimed at increasing production and replacing non-productive and marginal abaca farms.
For 2012, a total of 1,000 hectares of abaca plantations would be established in areas that are free from abaca diseases and are not frequently visited by typhoons, Soriano said.
Another program involves rehabilitating old and typhoon-damaged abaca plantations. Old and diseased abaca plants are uprooted and replanted with higher yielding, disease-tolerant abaca varieties to increase yield per hectare.
The comprehensive abaca disease management program, on the other hand, is geared at eradicating viral diseases which affect abaca plantations in Bicol and Leyte provinces. It also aims to prevent and control the spread of these diseases in the adjacent healthy abaca plantations.
Soriano said 4,200 hectares of diseased farms will be eradicated in Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Cebu, Leyte, Northern Samar and Davao del Sur this year.
The country has some 172,000 hectares planted to abaca capable of producing at least 130,000 metric tons of fiber. Last year, abaca fiber production rose by 28 percent to 73,274 metric tons compared to 2010.
The Philippines must improve private sector participation in technical and vocational education (TVET) in an effort to increase employability of TVET graduates, according to the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS).
\PIDS revealed that despite the high labor demand, only 34 percent of technical and vocational institution graduates found employment and only 26 percent consider their training useful for their job.
“Firms possess information about the skills that they need; therefore, their participation is valuable. Improvement in this regard is not just supplying TVET training services to TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) but also in setting priorities,” it noted.
The study said strengthening the role of the private sector in the allocation of TVET resources could be an option.
It cited as an example the arrangement between the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) and TESDA.
This allows the former to set scholarship vouchers with higher employment rate requirement for the BPAP in-house trained (80 percent) compared to 50 percent for those trained by other TVIs not affiliated with BPAP.
To improve the performance of the TVET subsector, the study noted that it is time to revive proposals of changing the role of TESDA from a direct service provider to standard regulator and enabler of other more efficient providers.
“The vision is for TESDA’s current responsibility as a training provider to migrate to other institutions, preferably the private sector, in order for TESDA to focus on standard setting and regulation free from distractions and inappropriate entanglements,” it said.
An important reform is the development of an explicit and credible targeting system, maybe an analogous and adapted version of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)’s National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) program.
“Targeting a good proportion of TESDA subsidies to conditional cash transfer beneficiaries might be a good start -one that would support the administration convergence policy,” it added.