4-M jobs generated in construction sector as of April this year -- Bello

By Betheena Kae Unite

Four million jobs have been generated in the construction sector as of April 2018, employment and infrastructure officials recently bared.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretay Silvestre Bello III speaks during the ASEAN Labor Ministers' Retreat in Davao City. (Keith Bacongco) Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretay Silvestre Bello III (Keith Bacongco/MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

According to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, a total of 4.012 million employment can be attributed to the construction sector, a 13.2 percent higher than last year’s, of the same period, figures.

“We are elated with the strong performance of the construction sector. In April 2018, total employment in the sector reached 4.012 million from 3.544 million during the same period in 2017. This is a 13.2-percent increase,” Bello said during a briefing with infrastructure and transportation leaders Wednesday.

A labor force survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority in April 2018, Bello added, showed that there is a year-on-year increase of 468,000 jobs generated in the construction sector.

The official believes that the largest contributor of jobs in the construction sector is the government’s infrastructure program -- Build, Build, Build.

"Construction is the largest contributor to employment among the industry subsectors during the period and we believe the Build Build Build infrastructure program is the main driver of growth,” Bello said.

Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, on the other hand, said that the “Build Build Build is gaining momentum at an unprecedented rate,” noting that more jobs were generated during the first two years of the Duterte administration compared to five years prior.

“Ang pinakamataas po na job creation sa construction sector historically is only been 200,000. At kailan lang naging 468,000 at tataas pa. (The largest job creation on the construction sector is only been 200,000. But recently it became 468,000 and it is expected to go higher),” Villar said.

“In the first quarter of 2018, the Gross Value Added in Construction is at 9.3 percent,” he added.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade also noted that “the increase in infrastructure spending is expected to create around one million direct and indirect jobs annually. ”

Recently, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs was launched to complement the BBB Program. It is an online job matching platform that aims to consolidate all employment opportunities from all concessionaires and construction companies involved in the government’s flagship infrastructure program.

“Build Build Build is Jobs Jobs Jobs. This is providing life to our nation. Unemployment has already decreased to 5.5 percent from 5.7 percent, year-on-year. We expect this figure to shrink further,” Tugade added.

Meanwhile, Villar reported that since the start of the term of the current administration, DPWH has built a total of 3,945 kilometers of roads and 892 bridges. The department has also rehabilitated 939 bridges spanning 40,192 meters and strengthened 642 bridges spanning 29,260 meters.