DTI pushes for PPP projects to San Diego biz delegation

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) promotes public–private partnership (PPP) projects to delegation members of the economic mission from San Diego, California.

During a recent investment briefing with the delegation, DTI Undersecretary for Industry Promotion Group Ponciano C. Manalo, Jr. cited infrastructure investments as one of the indicators that shows the sustained economic growth of the Philippines in the future as mentioned by Takehiko Nakao, president of Asian Development Bank in an article published in Nikkei Asian Review.

Manalo said that the Philippines has been eying to increase its infrastructure spending from 2.5 percent to 5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product by 2016.

He noted that infrastructure investments do not only include roads and bridges but also schools, hospitals, and prisons. There are a lot of investment opportunities in that the country’s public-private partnership (PPP) program that investors can participate.

The mission was composed of 11-member delegation coming from various sectors such as US government, business development advisory and consultancy firms, and private companies.

In an interview, the head of delegation and Philippine Honorary Consul of San Diego Audie de Castro noted that the city of San Diego has almost 200,000 Filipino Americans (Fil-Ams).

“There a lot of successful Fil-Ams in San Diego. There is high medium income over there of Fil-Ams. They have the means to actually invest in the country and of course, we want to see Filipinos also invest in San Diego for the same reason,” de Castro said.

“As far as I can hear from the delegates and people who are interested, people ask a lot on the real estate here because real estate is a hot market in San Diego County. We have heard a lot of how real estate has really improved in the Philippines. And of course, we have seen Ayala and Megaworld and making their ways to Southern California. So, real estate is one of the easier ways to invest in the country,” de Castro added.

De Castro noted that the delegation include people in the medical field, energy, and electric vehicles.

“I think there is high level respect for the medical profession here in the Philippines, and San Diego is a haven for medicine. We have a lot of best medical schools in the country, and have a lot of strong life sciences industry there,” de Castro said.

De Castro also noted that there is a lot of unused capital in San Diego.

“We would like to see a follow through. That is one of the reasons why we brought three government officials. We are talking about returning to the Philippines, and maybe the Philippines will send a delegation to San Diego County,” de Castro said.

He added that there is really a plan to continue this relationship and organize more missions in the future.