By Diego Gabriel C. Robles
THE NATIONAL Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has been directed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to review certain provisions of the revised rules of the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law.
“We have already received the President’s directive to review the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the BOT Law. We are presently awaiting the convening of the committee to review the rules,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said during the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (EJAP) forum on Wednesday.
The previous administration came out with the revised guidelines for the Republic Act (RA) No. 7718 in April.
“We have received several private sector stakeholders’ comments expressing their concerns over specific provisions of the IRR. Of course, careful review of the rules requires that we perform a balancing act: encouraging private investment to promote job creation, technological innovation, and product competition while protecting the public interest,” Mr. Balisacan said.
He said the President is aware of the issues raised by the private sector on the revised rules.
Business groups and some economists have raised concern over the rules, saying it compels private proponents to shoulder more risk while relieving the government of responsibility for delayed deliverables.
However, the NEDA chief declined to give details on changes to the IRR, but said discussions might revolve around the Material Adverse Government Action (MAGA) clause and arbitration issues.
“There are many other things but some of the revisions, I believe, are useful [and] are very good, and they should be kept. But I would like to see how that will move forward,” Mr. Balisacan added.
According to Section 12.22 of the BOT Law’s revised IRR, the government cannot be taken to court for arbitration.
Additionally, it defines MAGA as “any act of the Executive branch, which the project proponent had no…
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