By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
The construction industry is projected to contribute P130 trillion to the domestic economy and 7 million skilled workforce by 2030 aided by newly completed roadmap that sets direction for a sustainable growth and development of the industry.
This was contained in the Construction Industry Roadmap 2020-2030 with the theme “Tatag at Tapat 2030” launched by the Department of Trade and Industry’s Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines and the Philippine Contractors Association (PCA).
With the roadmap the value of the construction industry’s contribution to the economy is 325 percent larger than the P43-trillion projected growth without a roadmap. In 2018, the industry’s contribution was estimated at P2.3 trillion only and a workforce of 4 million.
Another important content of the roadmap includes the legislation of a long-term infrastructure development program that will ensure 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 roadmap will ensure the sustainability of the construction industry’s growth and its competitiveness. The roadmap will also complement the government’s massive infrastructure program, “Build, Build, Build.”
“The roadmap is a proof of the Philippine government’s holistic commitment in improving the quality of construction services consistent with principles of sustainability, increasing the number of globally competitive Filipino construction industry players, and equipping the whole project cycle with efficient and modern technologies,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.
In consultation with stakeholders and partners, the roadmap has identified the roadblocks in the construction industry that must be addressed to reach the goals.
Lopez said that part of the programs under the roadmap is 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,” said Lopez.
According to Lopez, the country will leverage on the strengths of a Filipino workforce that is skilled, educated, highly- trainable, has good work attitude, and with excellent command of English in realizing this vision.
The theme, “Tatag at Tapat” encapsulates the stability and renewed strength the industry aim 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 roadmap 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.