Joint venture projects by the Philippine government have been a mix of lucrative success stories and tales of financial struggle, with healthy doses of controversy peppered along the way. Apart from robust competition and public transparency, the project must have strong government oversight and be managed professionally by implementing agencies.

Unfortunately, none of these elements are apparent in the Laiban Dam project, as the last of our two-part report on the MWSS’ latest big-ticket foray indicates. Expert are worried that this might be a portent for a trend wherein the government’s new guidelines for joint-venture agreements circumvent the rigorous review of the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Curiously, controversy has also hounded previous joint-ventures entered into by the government, such as the North Luzon expressway project and the North Rail project.

The mainstream media has picked up the story, and the NEDA has already voiced its opposition to the Laiban Dam plan:

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