The Department of Trade and Industry-Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines (DTI-CIAP) hosted a dialogue with NEDA, DPWH, DoTr, GPPB, DepEd, other government agencies and Constructors associations on February 16, 2017 at the BOI Boardroom, 6th Floor BOI Building, Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue, Makati City.

Given the pronouncement of President Rodrigo R. Duterte that the administration is gearing to ramp up infrastructure spending to 7% of GDP or a total of Php 8 Trillion in the next five (5) years, the DTI-CIAP initiated a dialogue with the construction industry and government implementing agencies, to determine the capacity and readiness of the construction industry to face the Golden Age of Infrastructure.

Participating in the dialogue were representatives from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Transportation (DOTr), Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB), Department of Education (DepEd), Philippine Constructors Association Inc. (PCA), National Constructors Association of the Philippines Inc. (NACAP) and the Chairmen of the different Implementing Boards of CIAP.

According to Atty. Ruth B. Castelo, Undersecretary for CIAP, the dialogue also aimed to identify and look into the concerns of our local contractors to encourage them to participate in government infrastructure projects.

During the dialogue, the constructors associations raised several issues encountered in the procurement and implementation of projects specifically in the pre-qualification system, project pricing, payment delays, and levelling of the playing field with the entry of foreign contractors, among others.

On the perception that local contractors do not have enough capacity and inadequate capability to handle big ticket infrastructure projects, PCA President Engr. Dante M. Abando emphasized that the local construction industry is ready, willing and able to face the Golden Age of Infrastructure. Engr. Abando said that the local contractors in the past has demonstrated strong capability by its proven track record of completing the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway Project (TPLEX), among others, thru an organized consortium supported by local financial institutions.

No doubt that the construction industry, given the chance to demonstrate its capability to design and build major infrastructure project, will accomplish the projects faster, within standard specifications and at a much lesser cost. Undersecretary Castelo said that “the construction industry is excited to build, build and build in the Golden Age of Infrastructure.”

The dialogue marks a strengthened public and private partnership that will help the construction industry prosper and meet the demands of the Philippine Infrastructure Development Plan. Among other measures identified to address the issues are: (a) government to find ways on how to improve and simplify the procurement system, (b) establish a hotline for contractors’ complaints, and (c) continue to hold similar discussions with the industry.

The CIAP is the central authority of the construction industry mandated to promote, accelerate and regulate the growth and development of the construction industry in conformity with national goals.