Reforms Sought to Expedite Local Infra Projects

Article excerpt

The private sector has recommended a comprehensive package of reforms for the government to implement in its current infrastructure projects in the telecoms, power and water sectors.

Leaders of the different sectors made the recommendation during the conference on private sector participation in infrastructure sponsored by the finance department and the World Bank last week.

On the telecommunications sector, they recommended that the government must adopt a more active policy to enforce interconnection, level the playing field and a review must be made with regard to the policy in acquiring licenses.

The government should educate the public on the need to pay for local phone calls. Otherwise, international direct dialing (IDD) costs would remain high and uncompetitive and the Philippines would lose the opportunity to benefit from the IT (information technology) revolution.

With the e-commerce law now in place, it was recommended that the implementing rules and regulations be promulgated immediately. Rules, however, must have room for flexibility as rapid change can easily make them outdated.

On the infrastructure side, the private sector suggested that the courts must strictly comply with the law restricting the issuance of temporary restraining orders (TROs) against infrastructure projects. And a new law would further strengthening the restriction should be enacted.

The government should effectively implement the right of eminent domain with acceptable compensation as right-of-way problems continue to hamper the implementation of infrastructure projects. …