08 April 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez receives on behalf of President Duterte the Construction Industry Roadmap 2020-2030 on March 28. He is joined by other government officials from the Departments of Public Works and Highways, Transportation, and Labor and Employment, as well as officers from private stakeholders.

PAMPANGA—The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through the Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines (CIAP), and the Philippine Contractors Association (PCA), launched the Construction Industry Roadmap 2020-2030 on  March 28, with the theme “Tatag at Tapat 2030” to ensure the sustainability of the construction industry’s growth and its competitiveness.

The road map will also complement the government’s massive infrastructure program “Build, Build, Build.”

“The road map is proof of the Philippine government’s holistic commitment in improving the quality of construction services consistent with the principles of sustainability, increasing the number of globally competitive Filipino construction-industry players, and equipping the whole project cycle with efficient and modern technologies,” Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said.

“In consultation with stakeholders and with our team of experts and partners, we have identified the roadblocks in the construction industry that must be addressed to reach our goals,” Lopez added.

“With this road map, the construction industry aims to grow its contribution to the economy from P2.3 trillion in 2018 to P130 trillion cumulatively by 2030. This value is 325 percent larger than the P43- trillion projected growth without a road map. Its implementation will also increase job opportunities for construction work force from 4 million in 2018 to 7 million by 2030. That’s 3 million new jobs expected to be created.”

The trade chief then shared the agency’s drive to develop the country as an artificial intelligence (AI) center for excellence, where industries like construction will be able to produce higher-value software and hardware products, as well as outputs with the use of technology.

“The role of innovation in construction development is very important. The construction ecosystem now has focus on finding solutions to the many challenges faced by the industry. And AI will be our answer to these challenges. An example will be machine learning that could optimize schedules to order target deadlines, as well as detect discrepancies in blueprints and correct them through programmed scenarios. Imagine if the Philippines will be able to design and produce this kind of system for our construction industry. We could eventually start exporting knowledge processing in the future,” Lopez said.

The country will leverage on the strengths of a Filipino work force that is skilled, educated, highly- trainable, has good work attitude and with excellent command of English in realizing this vision, he said.

Another important content of the road map includes the legislation of a long-term infrastructure development program that will ensure the continuity of the programs beyond changing administration so the country can catch up on infrastructure deficiencies. The proposed law will feature a 30-year Infrastructure Master Plan with emphasis on maintaining a budget of at least 5 percent of the GDP.

The theme Tatag at Tapat 2030 encapsulates the stability and renewed strength that the industry aims for. It is rooted in the integrity in all construction activities from the regulatory and procurement process, to workmanship, design specifications and functional quality of the structures to be built.

The road map aligns its goals and strategies with the Philippine Development Plan and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

It highlights the vision of the Philippine Construction Industry to be a global partner in building nations by 2030 through the achievement of the integrated four pillars: Productivity, Sustainability, Globalization and Institutions.

Productivity covers the efficient, modern, and digital technologies founded on a culture of integrity, professionalism and innovation.

Sustainability refers to the quality of construction and services, consistent with the principles of sustainability.

Globalization introduces competitive players with increased scope, scale and specialization of services.

Institutions refer to strong government leadership and regulations, supported by a highly interconnected network of private institutions working toward inclusive development.

DTI Undersecretary Rowel Barba expressed the agency’s full support of the growth and development of the construction industry.

“We recognize the significant contribution of the construction industry in the economic growth of the country and in providing opportunities to many Filipinos through job generation,” Barba said.

Present during the launch were Department of Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Maria Catalina Cabral; Department of Transportation Undersecretary Ruben Reinoso; DTI Undersecretaries Ruth Castelo, Ireneo Vizmonte and Abdulgani Macatoman, and Assistant Secretary Angelo Taningco; Department of Labor and Employment Assistant Secretary Mariano Alquiza; CIAP Executive Director Ramon Abiera; PCA President Morris Agoncillo; Philippine Overseas Construction Board Chairman Isidro Consunji; Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board Chairman Pericles Dakay; Construction Manpower Development Foundation Chairman Tito Manalo; Construction Industry Commissioner Justice Teresita Baldoz; and Steel Asia Manufacturing President Adrian Cristobal.