The Technical Cooperation on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for Universal Health Care (UHC) will provide a platform for leaders and specialists from Philippines and Singapore to share knowledge and experience in public-private partnerships with a focus on the health care sector.

The Department of Health (DOH), University of the Philippines, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) and Temasek Foundation (TF) are collaborating, for the first time, in a program on public-private partnerships (PPP) with a special focus on the health care sector. The program is supported by TF through a grant of SGD 585,282, with co-funding support from the Philippine government and IFC.

The programme officially kicked off today with a dialogue about health care in the Philippines where more than 100 health care leaders and specialists discussed various health care challenges with representatives from the Philippines, Singapore, and IFC.

To mark the occasion, a simple signing ceremony was held among the participating organizations: Undersecretary of Health Lilibeth C. David, University of the Philippines President Atty. Danilo L. Concepcion, SCE Chief Executive Officer Kong Wy Mun, and IFC Country Manager for the Philippines Yuan Xu.

“Public-Private Partnerships will play a vital role in moving forward with the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act,” Health Undersecretary Lilibeth David declared, adding that the DOH has already built a pipeline of seven solicited PPP proposals for health, all of which are being intensively reviewed for their social impact, sustainability, and alignment to the objectives of UHC and other national policies.

“UHC provides more opportunities for further private sector collaboration, and I would like to challenge them to come up with innovative strategies that will provide safe, quality, cost-efficient, innovative, and competitive healthcare services for all Filipinos,” Undersecretary David said.

With the signing of the Universal Health Care Law in February 2019, funding for health care coverage takes on even greater significance. PPPs, with its emphasis on cost and risk sharing between the public and private sectors, is one of the viable models that is being considered by the DOH.

Reaching out to about 100 leaders and representatives of the Philippine health sector, this program will create a platform for both the Philippines and Singapore to share experience and knowledge on PPPs, particularly on projects related to the health care sector. This will be done through a series of workshops and sharing sessions in both Manila and Singapore, allowing for more interaction opportunities for both countries.

Beyond the bilateral sharing, IFC, with its rich experience of having assisted in the structuring of more than 300 PPP projects across the globe, will be able to share international best practices and provide important case-studies.

A set of sample PPP transaction documents, such as bid documents and concession agreements, will also be jointly developed by the stakeholders of the programme which will serve as a reference for future PPP projects. Mr. Kong Wy Mun, Chief Executive Officer of SCE said: “The Philippine PPP programme has been recognised to be one of the more progressive ones in Asia. Philippines is also one of the first countries in Asia to establish a PPP framework. With the Philippines having embarked on numerous PPP projects, there is indeed a lot for all parties to learn from each other. Singapore Cooperation Enterprise is privileged to be the programme manager for this engagement where we, together with the support of Temasek Foundation and the International Finance Corporation, will aggregate the relevant expertise and resources required to implement the series of workshops in partnership with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines.”

“Access to affordable, quality healthcare is important to the long-term sustainable development of the Philippines. This partnership aligns with IFC’s commitment to expand access to health services in the country,” said Yuan Xu, IFC Country Manager for the Philippines. She added, “Well-structured public private partnerships are one tool available to help close the gap in health care, and this program would help build the capacity of the health sector in this area.”

Following today’s seminar, a two-day workshop on PPP will be held where PPP practitioners from the Philippines, Singapore and IFC will share on the process of PPP project development and preparation. In this way, participants will not only be able to see PPP concepts and processes being applied in real-life, they will also be able to track the negotiations as it progresses, which will further enrich their learning experience.

Mr. Benedict Cheong, Chief Executive, TF, said, “As Philippines and Singapore commemorate 50 years of diplomatic relations, the Foundation is honoured to be partnering the Philippine Department of Health once again. We hope this programme will allow leaders and officials from both countries to share experiences and insights in the area of public-private partnerships (PPPs) and in the process, enhance existing networks of cooperation and friendship. We would also like to thank the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for working with us for the first time. IFC’s robust experience in the area of PPPs will provide participants with valuable insights and perspectives, making the programme more meaningful and relevant for all parties involved.”