On 11 August 2011, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the Action for Economic Reforms, in partnership with the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) of the Supreme Court of the Philippines held the Multi-Sectoral Seminar-Workshop on Public-Private Partnerships at the Discovery Suites in Pasig City.

This Seminar-Workshop was conceptualized and designed by the Action for Economic Reforms as part of the AER’s long-standing commitment to promote economic freedom, foster investments and create jobs for the Filipino workingman.

The seminar had the following objectives:

  1. Orient the participants on the rationale and basics of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in infrastructure including its various types and the different risks involved in its implementation;
  2. Discuss the economics behind PPP; and
  3. Discuss in brief case studies of PPP in infrastructure distilling insights and lessons.

To start the program, Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez of Supreme Court of the Philippines, speaking on behalf of Chief Justice Renato Corona, gave the Opening Remarks. Dean Raul C. Pangalangan, member of the PHILJA Corps of Professors and former dean of the University of the Philippines College of Law, then gave a brief introduction of the seminar.

The seminar was divided into four sessions. The first session, Basics of Public-Private Partnership, had Dr. Fernando T. Aldaba, Professor at the Ateneo de Manila University Department of Economics as resource person. The reactor for this session was Commissioner Samson C. Lazo of the Construction Industry Arbitration Commission.

The second session was on the Legal Issues on Public-Private Partnership with Atty. Nepomuceno A. Malaluan, trustee of AER and Professor Solomon F. Lumba of the University of the Philippines College of Law as resource persons. After the presentations, Dean Pacifico A. Agabin, Chair of the PHILJA Department of Constitutional Law, served as reactor.

Dr. Eduardo T. Gonzales of the University of the Philippines Asian Center started the third session on the Non-Legal Issues on Public-Private Partnership, with his presentation entitled “Correcting market failure: Can PPPs be part of the solution?” The next speaker was Dr. Michael M. Alba, Professor at the University of the Philippines School of Economics, who gave an introduction to procurement and regulation. This session was reacted on by Dean Cesar L. Villanueva, Chair of the PHILJA Department of Commercial Law.

The last session of the seminar, the Workshop-Discussion, was led by Dean Raul C. Pangalangan, with the 5 resource persons as members of the panel.

The Closing Remarks was then delivered by Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna, Chancellor of the Philippine Judicial Academy. The program ended with the distribution of certificates of attendance to the participants. Prof. Alfredo F. Tadiar, Chair of the PHILJA Department of Alternative Dispute Resolution, served as overall presider/moderator.

All in all, the seminar was a success, with more than 50 people attending. Among the attendees were 19 judges from various Regional Trial Court branches, 12 government stakeholders from the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, Energy Regulatory Commission, Maritime Industry Authority, the Public-Private Partnership Center of the National Economic and Development Authority, Laguna Lake Development Authority, Department of Public Works and Highways and Department of Finance, and representatives from AER and PHILJA, including Justice Delilah Vidallon Magtolis, PHILJA Chief of Academic Affairs.