Robert G. Sarmiento
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Prominent tycoons of the Philippines presented a list of measures to President Marcos aimed at improving the country's infrastructure landscape. Among them, ports and casino tycoon Enrique Razon urged the development of ports outside Manila, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.
During a meeting of the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) at Malacañang, Razon and ICTSI executive vice president Christian Gonzalez presented the challenges facing the logistics sector. They said that the logistics industry is too geographically concentrated, with the ports outside Manila underutilized. Razon suggested developing the Port of Iloilo into another international port, which would ultimately lead to reduced costs and time to market for imports.
For the energy sector, the PSAC recommended rationalizing secondary price caps to open up new investments and connecting the Small Power Utility Groups (SPUGs) to the grid.
Meanwhile, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. president Manuel Pangilinan highlighted the various challenges plaguing clean water accessibility, recommending increasing funding support for water projects and sewage treatment while incentivizing the private sector to invest. The PSAC Infrastructure Sector also recommended adopting a water tariff based on affordability instead of a straight-line cost per cubic meter.
For the transport and mobility sector, Aboitiz Group president and CEO Sabin Aboitiz emphasized the need to improve transport and mobility infrastructure to support economic recovery and growth, as the Philippines ranks low at 96 out of 141 countries in the World Economic Forum ranking of global competitiveness in air transport efficiency.
The PSAC Infrastructure Sector recommended rehabilitating NAIA through public-private partnership (PPP) and expediting the award process of projects with original proponent status this 2023. In attendance from the government for the transport and mobility sector were Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) director general Capt. Manuel Antonio Tamayo, and Manila International Airport Authority general manager Cesar Chiong.
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