The construction sector picked up this year as the government built more projects under the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Thursday.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed the construction sector grew 16.1 percent in the third quarter from a year ago.
The growth was driven by the acceleration in both public and private construction. Data showed that public construction surged 25.4 percent in the third quarter, while private construction rose 12.1 percent.
Lopez said the private sector in 2017 accounted for 74 percent of the construction, while public construction had 26 percent.
“However, in the first semester of 2018, the share of public construction increased to 32 percent, consistent with the surge in government spending on infrastructure projects,” Lopez said at the opening of the 3rd Philippine Construction Industry Congress and the 29th PhilConstruct Expo.
The two events were organized by the Philippine Constructors Association and the Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines.
Construction output accounted for nearly 6 percent of the gross domestic product on average over the 2010 to 2017 period.
Data showed that construction’s share to GDP climbed to 6.5 percent in the first half of 2018 from 6.2 percent a year ago.
The construction industry also contributed 32.8 percent to overall capital investments in the country in the first semester of 2018.
Lopez said the increase in construction investment was due to high consumer confidence, modest inflation, and interest rates and improving labor market conditions.
“The ‘Build, Build, Build’ program will allow our budget for infrastructure to grow to 5 percent to 7 percent of the GDP over the medium- to long-term. During this ‘golden age of infrastructure’, we have 75 flagship infrastructure projects to be constructed or implemented,” said Lopez.
PCA president Morris Agoncillo said now is an exciting time for the Philippine construction sector.
“With the government’s aggressive pursuit of infrastructure development through the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program as well as the private sector’s drive to produce globally competitive products, there are plenty of opportunities for both local and international suppliers to grow their business here,” he said.
The National Economic and Development Authority expects around 820,000 jobs to be generated as a number of infrastructure projects takes off this year.