8 November 2018, World Trade Center, Pasay City
To the different organizations of the construction industry; panelists and exhibitors; ladies and gentlemen, magandang umaga sa lahat!
We also have here Usec. Rowel Barba of the Ease of Doing Business Group of DTI. Kung may problema kayo sa mabagal na serbisyo ng gorbyerno, si Usec. Barba is the man to call.
On behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines (CIAP), I would like to thank you for inviting me to PHILCONSTRUCT 2018.
As the biggest construction show in the Philippines for more than two decades, PHILCONSTRUCT has played a major role in defining the landscape of building and construction of the country. It also serves as a platform for industry stakeholders where they can exchange best practices and provide extraordinary infrastructure opportunities.
That’s why I would like to recognize the efforts of the organizers, the Philippine Constructors Association (PCA), in pushing the growth and development of the construction industry. Your efforts, in turn, provide decent employment opportunities for our skilled and unskilled Filipino workers.
We note that the robust Philippine economic growth is fueled by strong performance of the construction sector. In the first semester of 2018, GDP growth averaged 6.3% with construction activity expanding by 11.5%. About one-third of the country’s capital formation came from construction investments.
Just looking at two indicators, the cement and steel demand, they’ve been posting double digit growth in the past 5 years. Growth in these sectors has been flat in the past few decades. But we’re seeing double digit growth year on year, which means we are hitting an inflection point.
If you look at the graph, from a flat level to an upward sloping demand for these two industries, which suggests that we are on the path to an economic breakout. This is a sustainable growth which is just starting. Other countries have been saying that when they experienced this growth in the cement and steel sectors, they never looked back. The growth in the economy continued.
The share of the construction industry to total employment of the country is 9.3% in the first semester of 2018. It continues to provide job opportunities, employing a total of 3.826 Million workers, up by 13.2% from the same period in 2017. The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) expects around 820,000 jobs to be generated with a number of infrastructure projects breaking ground for the year 2018. More jobs are expected to be generated in the construction sector under the Duterte administration’s infrastructure program, and Filipinos will be high on the priority list of employment opportunities.
With the continued growth of the construction sector, abundant opportunities remain for the industry—especially as the Philippine economy is steadily rising and the Duterte administration implements its massive “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program. That’s why we hope the private sector continues to partner with us towards building a nation that is inclusive in its growth, and where our countrymen can share in the fruits of its prosperity.
Once again, congratulations to PCA and best wishes for the success of the PHILCONSTRUCT this year. Mabuhay!