Marcos gov’t OKs 1st PPP project: P 6-B UP-PGH Cancer Center

By Nestor A. Corralesand Ronnel W. Domi

February 4, 2023 12:00:00

The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) board on Thursday approved the establishment of the University of the Philippines General Hospital (UP-PGH) Cancer Center, the first public-private partnership (PPP) project under the Marcos administration.

Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil said the Neda board, chaired by President Marcos, approved the construction of a P6-billion, 300-bed capacity hospital.

"The project aims to establish UP-PGH's dedicated cancer hospital that will modernize its health infrastructure and offer comprehensive, high-quality, and affordable oncology services towards enhancing the country's health service quality and capacity for cancer care," Garafil said in a statement.

The Cancer Center, with an area of 3,000 square meters, will be located within the UP-PGH campus in Manila.

The entire building will have a capacity of 300 beds (150 charity beds for the UP-PGH Area and 150 private beds for the private area), 15 to 20 floors, 350 parking spaces, 1,000 square meter of commercial space, and an area for three linear accelerators bunkers.

30-year BOT arrangement

Garafil said the project would be solicited from the public through the submission of a bid and will be structured as a 30-year Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) arrangement under the BOT Law.

The BOT approach is an agreement that grants a concession to a private partner to finance, build, and operate a project over a fixed term.

After that fixed period, the project would be returned to the public entity that originally granted the concession.

She said the UP-PGH's private partner would design, engineer, construct, and commission the entire new hospital building, procure, maintain, and provide for the periodic replacement of medical and non-medical equipment.

Its private partner, she added, would also maintain all non-clinical services for the entire hospital building, operate relevant commercial activities, provide clinical services to private-paying patients in the private area, and assume all associated costs of clinical manpower, drugs and consumables.

Garafil said the UP-PGH would provide the site at no cost, transfer the existing equipment to the Cancer Center, provide clinical services to non-paying charity patients in the UP-PGH area, assume all associated costs of clinical manpower, drugs, and consumables, and undertake clinical teaching and research. At a Palace briefing on Friday, Neda Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the UP-PGH Cancer Center was among the seven high-impact projects approved by the Neda board, which he said would "significantly contribute to achieving our social and economic transformation goal in the medium-term."

Balisacan assured the public that the cancer center would not be privatized.

"This is a build-operate-transfer project and so the private sector or private partner will build the facility, they will design, will engineer, and construct the facility, then transfer it to the UP-PGH," he said.

More projects

The other projects, according to him, are the P20-billion integrated flood resilience project of the Department of Public Works and Highways, which aims to mitigate flood damage and improve climate resilience in three major river basin; and the utilization of the P2.12-billion loan balance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency for the Communications, Navigation and Surveillance Systems for Air Traffic Management maintenance and resiliency enhancement.

He said the Neda board also approved the Department of Agriculture's Mindanao Inclusive Agriculture Development Project which aims to increase productivity, resiliency, and access to markets and services of farmers and fisher groups in selected areas.

Also included in the high-impact projects are the increase in cost of the MRT-3 Rehabilitation Project from P21.9 billion to P29.6 billion and the Davao Transport Modernization Project.

The board also approved the development of the new Dumaguete airport, which would replace the Dumaguete-Sibulan airport.

Balisacan said only the UP-PGH Cancer Center would be a PPP project while the Dumaguete airport, the agriculture project in Mindanao and the flood resilience project would be funded through official development assistance funds. INQ