P-Noy’s Speech during the Philippines-New Zealand Business Forum, 23 October 2012

Source: Video from RTVM

Sky City Auckland Convention Centre, Auckland, New Zealand, | News Releases below | Speech (Full text) | http://www.pcoo.gov.ph/speeches2012/s… | Audio | http://www.pcoo.gov.ph/pnoy/Philippin… | Photos | http://www.pcoo.gov.ph/photos-oct2012… | http://www.pcoo.gov.ph/photos-oct2012… | http://www.pcoo.gov.ph/photos-oct2012… | http://www.pcoo.gov.ph/photos-oct2012… |

Aquino government to build more infrastructure projects under PPP

The Aquino government announced on Tuesday that it was targetting to award eight projects for this year and 10 additional projects next year under the public private partnership (PPP) program.

In a business forum in New Zealand Tuesday, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, who accompanied President Benigno S. Aquino III in his state visit there, said the government has already bidded out several projects such as the Light Rail Transit extension and the construction of classrooms for the Department of Education.

So far, the government was able to award 10,000 classrooms and there will be another two 10,000-classroom projects to be bidded out.

The government also bidded out a toll way and will award another one. The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Expressway is also up for grabs, Purisima said.

“What’s happening in the Philippines is we’ve established a pipeline of PPP projects, and we hope to launch at least eight this year and 10 next year,” Purisima stressed.

“What’s important is that this covers not just economic infrastructures such as mass transit, toll ways, power, sewerage and water; it also covers social infrastructures such as schools, office buildings and maybe prisons as we move down the road,” he added.

The goal of the President is to reduce the infrastructure gap between the Philippines and its neighboring countries, Purisima said noting that the administration is doing this through PPP arrangements on available budget.

With prudent financial management, Purisima said, the government was able to increase the allocation for infrastructure in the budget by almost 50 percent since the President took office in 2010. He said that the administration hopes to sustain this momentum until President Aquino steps down in 2016.

The President was in New Zealand for a two-day state visit. After New Zealand, President Aquino will proceed to Australia for a similar visit. PND (as/4:32pm)
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Aquino wants closer cooperation with New Zealand in agriculture, energy development

President Benigno S. Aquino III said he hopes the Philippines and New Zealand could work together in areas of agriculture, energy, and manufacturing for the benefit of both countries.

During a business forum held in New Zealand on Tuesday, the President said he’s interested in imitating Thailand in its dairy cooperation with New Zealand by developing tropicalized breeds of cattle to sustain Thailand’s meat and dairy needs.

“We’d like to have the same experience. I had a good fortune to try some of your produce ever since I came in yesterday, and I’m very, very impressed,” the President said. “We’d really like to develop more indigenous abilities to satisfy that particular need,” he added.

The President was in New Zealand for a two-day state visit. He is scheduled to go to Australia after his New Zealand trip.

The Philippines imports 99 percent of its dairy requirements, the President said.

If the Philippines could develop such industry, it would become less dependent on the vagaries of the international market and at the same time satisfying the nutritional requirements of next generation of Filipinos, the Chief Executive further said.

The Philippines and New Zealand could also work together for further development of the Philippines’ geothermal energy sector. In the 70s, the President said New Zealand assisted the Philippines put up its own capacity to harness geothermal energy.

The Philippines is the second country in the world devoting much attention to geothermal energy development and use. The US is the biggest geothermal energy user.

“We can make our own industry that much more efficient and perhaps really tap into the reported 2,000 megawatts reserves. We need to be able to generate a lot more energy to bring down the prices of our electricity which are amongst the highest in Asia,” he President stressed.

Aside from these areas, both countries can also build stronger tie up in manufacturing, the President said. He noted that he is also excited about a working holiday scheme so that both countries can express views about their respective culture and best practices. PND (as/5:05pm)
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