Leyte Vice Governor Atty. Carlo P. Loreto
Leyte Vice Governor Atty. Carlo P. Loreto.

TACLOBAN CITY, Oct. 14 (PNA) – The Leyte provincial board approved on Tuesday the Joint Venture Ordinance, a landmark legislation of the province that would simplify local joint ventures between the provincial government and private partners.

Authored by Vice Governor Carlo P. Loreto, the ordinance provides for the procedures in identifying joint venture projects through public-private partnerships, selecting joint venture partners, instituting accountability mechanism for the whole venture, as well as identify sharing of income from such projects.

Loreto said the legislation came about after the provincial government saw the need for accelerated implementation of local projects through joint ventures with private partners, who can provide more, better, affordable and timely services to the community.

Joint ventures, according to Loreto, can allow for more technology transfer, improved efficiency and quality of service, provide value-for-money and good economic value, as well as enhances economic and social benefits.

The initiative shall be pursued by the province consistent with its infrastructure, development, investment, environmental and governance framework embodied in relevant policies, plans, ordinances and codes.

“There is no local code yet that govern public-private partnerships,” Loreto said.

It was learned that public-private partnership is presently governed by the Build Operate Transfer Law.

Under the BOT Law and its implementing rules and regulations, local governments can implement PPPs for local infrastructure and development projects.

Based on cost, some locally initiated projects can be approved at the local development council levels and need not go up to the Investment Coordination Committee – Cabinet Committee (ICC-CC) under the current PPP Program.

This ordinance would create a council under the provincial governor that will identify priority projects and secure the necessary documents for such projects.

“The ordinance is mainly aimed at fast tracking priority projects and allowing the private sector to partner with us,” Loreto added.

It was likewise learned that the Joint Venture ordinance is a priority in the Executive and Legislative Agenda and included in the Annual Investment Plan of the province of Leyte. (PNA)