The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) is now pushing for more training programs to ensure enough supply of construction workers and other skills related to construction in anticipation of the high demand for the jobs as the government moves to address the 6.5 million housing backlog in the country.
DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar said they have already started coordinating with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to develop and enhance skills of workers in the housing industry.
"This is in anticipation for a sudden increase in demand for construction workers since our housing program is expected to go on full blast in the next coming months," said Acuzar.
The DHSUD is eyeing to build one million housing units every year--the objective got a big boost after the Home Development Mutual Fund, or the Pag-IBIG Fund, has allocated P250 billion.
Several private and government financial institutions have also committed funding for the housing programs.
"We have a problem with the availability of skilled workers. To address this, we initiated talks with TESDA Director General Danilo Cruz as early as October last year as a proactive measure to empower construction workers in preparation for the workforce requirement of housing project development," said Acuzar.
The DHSUD has earlier reported that about 1.7 million jobs – construction workers included – per year would be generated once the Pambansang Pabahay commences its groundwork.
The significant number of jobs is seen to contribute in the administration’s post-pandemic recovery efforts and in furtherance of the 8-point economic agenda of the Marcos administration.
Among those that would be included in the training programs are for carpenters, plumbers and electricians.
Acuzar said TESDA has already expressed support to the program, especially in augmenting the housing and construction industries’ present work force as well as improve their skill set.
“Right now, we are looking at all angles and aspects to prepare for the beginning of actual implementation of the Pambansang Pabahay on the ground. We are fast-tracking construction so that we can adjust with the projected increase in cost. We need enough workers to ensure that we build and provide the houses on time for our kababayans,” Acuzar said.
As of February 15, DHSUD has broken ground for 17 housing projects with various local government units, and signed 70 Memorandums of Understanding under the Pambansang Pabahay, or national housing.