Project Finance & PPPs
The Philippine Constitution espouses a policy that the State recognizes the indispensable role of the private sector, encourages private enterprise, and provides incentives to needed investments. In line with this policy, the Build-Operate-Transfer Law (BOT Law) came into being in 1990 and later amended in 1994. As the basic law that governs Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the Philippines, it authorized the financing, construction, operation and maintenance of infrastructure projects by the private sector, to be implemented through various BOT schemes. In 2013, the National Economic and Development Authority issued the Revised Guidelines and Procedures for Entering into Joint Venture Agreements between Government and Private Entities pursuant to its mandate under Executive Order No. 423, s. 2005. This paved the way for broader participation by the private sector in services which the government traditionally provides. Local government units have likewise adopted their respective PPP Codes. It is our commitment to actively participate in these transactions to assist the country in creating long-term solutions to bridge its infrastructure gap and drive inclusive growth.
We have advised the proponent of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Project on various project and financing matters, which also involved the drafting, review and negotiation of several contracts required for the project’s commercial operation, which it achieved in the first quarter of 2005.
We have advised the concessionaire for the Tarlac-Pangasinan La Union Expressway (TPLEX) Project, a major tollway project launched by the Philippine Government under the BOT Law, on matters relating to its project development, shareholder transactions and project financing. The project successfully achieved financial closing and initial funding in the second half of 2011 and was acclaimed as the Asia-Pacific Transport Deal of the Year for 2011 by Euromoney PLC’s Project Finance magazine. In 2015, we assisted the company in obtaining NEDA Board approval for the project’s expansion into four lanes and drafted the agreements and documents needed for its implementation.
We advised a bidding consortium for the Manila LRT1 Cavite Extension, Operation and Maintenance Project for the initial bidding in 2013 and its re-bidding in 2014, by assessing legal issues and risks associated with the project based on due diligence, drafting all correspondences with the Special Bids and Awards Committee, and reviewing qualification and bid documents of the client to ensure compliance with the bid rules. We also reviewed and commented on the drafts of the concession agreement and attended one-on-one meetings with representatives of the Philippine Government’s transaction advisor, Department of Transportation and Communications, Department of Finance, Light Rail Transit Authority and their local and foreign counsel.
In 2015, we provided legal support to the Philippine Government’s transaction advisor in connection with the completion of the legal and institutional analysis portion of the feasibility study for an airport project.
In 2014 to 2015, we advised a bidding consortium for the Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project, by assessing legal issues and risks associated with the project, drafting all correspondences with the Special Bids and Awards Committee, and reviewing the qualification documents of the client to ensure compliance with the bid rules. We also reviewed and commented on the drafts of the concession agreement and attended meetings with representatives of the Philippine Government’s transaction advisor, MWSS and their legal counsel.
We have advised a client on various modes of undertaking local water projects, recommending the best option to do so, and had the opportunity to review various PPP codes of local government units in the country in completing our study.
In order to properly advise our clients, we keep ourselves abreast of the current international best practices on project finance and PPPs through regular trainings here and abroad.