Local governments and entities in the Philippines have been provided enhanced access to a facility that can fund the feasibility studies and project development phase of public-private partnership (PPP) projects, particularly those with a focus on climate resiliency.
The Philippines is the fifth most vulnerable country to climate change, with its recurrent catastrophes in the long term and yearly risk indexes, according to the Global Climate Risk Index 2018. The country lies in the world’s most cyclone-prone region, averaging 19–20 cyclones each year, of which 7–9 make landfall. Sea levels in the Philippines are rising faster than the global average, increasing the hazard posed by storm surges and threatening permanent inundation of low-lying areas, as per one unit of the Philippine government. Therefore, it is critical for the Philippines to set a long-term goal to mitigate climate change risks and take steps to alleviate global warming.
In line with this, a collaboration has been established between the country’s Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center to help the latter to enhance its know-how on climate change and how it affects the development and implementation of PPP projects. The CCC is the lead policy-making government body for programs and action plans tackling the impacts of climate change in the Philippines, while the PPP Center is mandated to facilitate the implementation of the country’s PPP program and projects. Under this collaboration, local governments and entities now have enhanced access to the PPP Center’s Project Development and Monitoring Facility (PDMF).
The PPP Center is currently in the process of creating a regional PDMF to assist local implementing units – local governments, local water districts, economic zones and state universities and colleges (SUCS) – in developing business case of their various PPP projects. Upon completion of the business case, projects that would need more in-depth study may be referred to the PDMF for the conduct of a full-blown feasibility study. In terms of technical knowledge, a panel of local PPP experts will be established with expertise on climate change resiliency from reputable firms. These experts are also expected to provide assistance during project approval, bid management and financial close. They can also be tapped to provide an independent review and monitoring of PPP projects during implementation.
Meanwhile, on the funding side, the PPP Center has recently been in discussion with several donors for grants that will be used to establish the above initiative:
The Urban Financing Partnership Facility of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a grant through its Urban Climate Change Resiliency Trust Fund (UCCRTF). The said grant, which will be lodged through the PPP Center’s PDMF, will be made available to local PPP projects that will provide climate resilient Infrastructure to vulnerable communities, specifically for projects in the sectors of renewable Energy, water, sanitation, solid waste management, open/green spaces, food security, flood control, disaster risk management, and green vertical development.
The PPP Center is also in discussion with Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) for a grant that will help the Center enhance its expertise and capacity to develop projects that will consider climate change components, both at the national and local levels.
Since the PPP program was launched in late 2010 the government has awarded a total of 16 national PPP projects worth around US$6.2 billion, according to ADB.
(Sources: Philippine News Agency; Department of Energy, Philippines; Asian Development Bank)