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Japanese experts look for PPP projects in Cebu

| by: Xerxes Alkuino

The Cebu Provincial Government tapped Japanese technical experts to propose possible public-private partnership (PPP) projects in Cebu.

Professor Sam Tabuchi, director, Asia Public-Private Partnership Institute of Toyo University said they were requested by Governor Hilario P. Davide III to come to Cebu to work on three areas.

These include the operation of health facilities, land use planning, and disaster preparedness. They were also tapped to find solutions to the problems in urban areas with the Mega Cebu Development and Coordination Board (MCDCB).

Gov. Davide, who met Tabuchi two years ago in Tokyo, also sits as the MCDCB chair. Last October, they initiated a memorandum of understanding-which led Tabuchi to Cebu for the study.

Generally, Tabuchi explained that the governor wanted their help because of their track record in finding Japanese companies to invest in PPP projects like what they did in Butuan City, Mindanao.

“I cannot guarantee you (that we do the same) that but we will try to find the possible Japanese companies interested in the projects that we propose,” he said.

The eight-person Japanese PPP student-group includes two personnel from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). They will be in Cebu until February 7 and expected to complete their report by March.

Tabuchi said they will conduct interviews with point persons in every area concerned.

The group will visit the province-run hospitals in Carcar City, Oslob, and Malabuyoc, Tuburan, Bogo City and Danao City. They will also meet the officials of the Department of Health, Philhealth, Cebu Medical Society, Philippine Nursing Association, and Philippine Association of Medical Technologists.

For the land use, the group will do ocular inspection to the prime properties located in Cebu City. They are also expected to meet with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), real estate brokers and local private developers.

The Capitol is looking forward to generate revenue from its six (6) idle lots, which are primed for development.

Benjamin Yap, head, Cebu Province Investments and Promotion Center said, “We are looking into a venture for its use whether for commercial or Information Technology.”

Baltazar Tribunalo Jr., head, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said they would like to link risk, hazard, vulnerability, hazards and capability assessment with geographic information system-based mapping.

The Capitol is also looking at the establishment of a learning resource center for disaster preparedness.

The group assigned to disaster preparedness will visit the DRRM offices in the cities of Mandaue and Danao.

Capitol Chief of Staff Rodrigo Lachica said the governor was aware of the huge assignment of their group.

“But he will be happy if we could just do it brick by brick,” Lachica said.

Vice Governor Agnes Magpale thanked Tabuchi for the continuing support of the Japanese Government to Cebu Province.

She remembered that the JICA was also instrumental in crafting the tourism master of plan of Cebu many years.

Tabuchi assured Vice Gov. Magpale that Toyo University, Yokohama City, Saitama Prefecture and JICA are committed to support the island’s initiatives.