Construction Board releases 5,000 digitally renewed licenses

Published August 18, 2020, 7:00 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB) has released 5,000 digitally renewed licenses out of 5,593 online submissions as it shifted to automation for the first time in decades.

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PCAB Chairman Pericles Dakay announced that the release of the new licenses as of August 7, 2020 was a result of the assistance by the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-DELIVER Project that enables the agency to design an operational system for license renewal applications, which went live last June 3, 2020.

In a month’s time, he said that PCAB, together with its partners and construction consultants, and with the IT and technical support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), revisited the Contractor’s License Law (RA 4566) and conducted comparative analysis and benchmarking of licensing international best practices.

With the development of the PCAB Online Renewal Portal, pertinent documentary requirements were relaxed and reduced from 24 to just nine digital submissions.  These are done not only as a COVID 19 response, but as a move to further automate PCAB’s transactions. The initiative’s core objective is to advance the ease-of-doing-business for the construction industry that contributes about 17 percent of the country’s GDP based on the 2019 statistics and creates a multiplier effect in the economy particularly in job creation—one of the most crucial components of the Administration’s economic recovery plan.

“We focus on building something from scratch while forging partnerships with our companies that also aim to provide the best services possible. I am optimistic that this is just the start of better and greater things to happen and that we will continuously change via creative and innovative disruption,” said Dakay.

To facilitate more payment options, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was recently signed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) with PayMaya, Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), and Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) to authorize PayMaya as an additional digital collecting agent for the services of CIAP, specifically starting with the PCAB Online license renewal. With this integration with PayMaya, users will have a more convenient payment option since they will now be allowed to use credit, debit, and prepaid cards as well as their PayMaya-registered mobile number for payment.

“This is the first time that PCAB is embarking onto automating its decades old processes, and this is a learning experience for the rest of us here.  We immediately convened to plan and improve payment options that is why we have engaged more partners in the process such as the Bureau of the Treasury and the PayMaya,” PCAB Executive Director Herbert E.D. Matienzo said.

Currently, PCAB has 8950 registered contractors in the system that is about 59 percent of the estimated 15,000 PCAB-licensed contractors up for renewal by the end of July. Since the PayMaya and 7/11 ECpay channels were made available, the number of payments also increased to 5,654 from 104 renewal applications during its first week in June.

This effort is pursuant to the vision of the Philippine Construction Industry Roadmap 2020-2030—that is to have a construction industry equipped with efficient, modern, and digital technologies, founded on a culture of integrity, professionalism, and innovation. The 30 action items identified in the Roadmap for the Construction Industry of the Philippines (CIAP-PCAB) aim to modernize its services in compliance with Ease of Doing Business Law.

PCAB still encourages contractors to renew using the PCAB Online Renewal Portal even until the end of September 2020 without any penalty.  However, it should be noted that those who fail to accomplish their renewal will not be given a license to continue operating until they complete the renewal process.