Outdated and conflicting laws impede coordination among administering agencies. Inadequate tax policies also impede infrastructure development. Typhoon Odette, meanwhile, has posed challenges for infrastructure development. In this article, we address the issues that are causing slow progress and offer solutions for these problems. We also examine how tax reforms can sustain the infrastructure push. Finally, we examine the impacts of Typhoon Odette on the Philippines’ infrastructure status in 2022.
Unsolicited PPP projects
The Philippines has only a limited fiscal space, so it’s no surprise that the government has turned to PPPs for infrastructure projects. Last quarter, its debt-to-GDP ratio reached 63.5%, a 17-year high and more than 60% of its GDP. The government has responded by inviting unsolicited PPP proposals for infrastructure projects, such as upgrading airports. The private sector would then operate and maintain these projects, providing a significant amount of revenue for the government.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has received approximately 20 unsolicited PPP proposals. It is responsible for the review and evaluation of the proposals submitted for appraisal. The NEDA reviews each project’s financial model, rate of return, and legal obligations in its draft concession agreement. NEDA is keen on ensuring that a project will be delivered on time and without undue risk. As of today, the Philippines has approved a total of 20 unsolicited PPP projects and is evaluating another 40.
Tax reforms can sustain the infrastructure push
While the current infrastructure push is essential to the nation’s future, tax reforms will help maintain fiscal sustainability. While recent reforms have increased revenue collection, further improvements to the tax system are needed. Continued efforts to strengthen the tax system will promote inclusive growth and support sustainable investment in human capital and infrastructure. This article explores the importance of tax reforms in the Philippines. Here are five ways it can make a difference.
First, tax reforms are necessary to attract foreign investors and boost private investment. This country is among the world’s least competitive in terms of infrastructure. This is partly because of local clans preventing the state apparatus from fulfilling basic functions, such as collecting taxes. While basic infrastructure is available almost everywhere in the Philippines, quality of service is often low, especially in rural areas. Second, the government needs to modernize its public information technology infrastructure and introduce digital national identification cards to improve transparency and efficiency.
Impact of Typhoon Odette on infrastructure development
With the repercussions of Typhoon Odette still fresh in the minds of many, the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has compiled damage estimates in the areas affected by the storm. The storm made landfall nine times, leaving devastation in Caraga, Central and Eastern Visayas and Dinagat Island. A total of 260 kpa of wind was recorded on the nine times Odette made landfall.
The winds from Typhoon Odette were so strong that they caused massive outages of electricity and telecommunications services in many regions. The storm impacted seven million people, and caused major damage to communications and infrastructure in many cities. Affected areas were left without power and communication for days. Infrastructure development has been put on hold as several provinces are struggling with power and water shortages. Further, in many remote areas, there is no reliable communication line.