Construction industry a big boost to Mindanao’s economy

The conduct of the 4th PhilConstruct Mindanao at the SMX Convention Center on September 5 to 7, 2013 (with over 100 exhibitors) has put into perspective the impact of the construction industry on Mindanao’s economic growth with an estimated worth of P40 Billion.

“We have 700 contractors registered with the Board and 60% are based in Davao,” Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Davao City Director Teolulo T, Pasawa said. The distribution of wealth is not trickling down, he said, so it is pulling its resources to the construction industry since it has a bigger multiplier effect.

Event Chairperson Engr. Ramon F. Allado said there may be a similar number of contractors not registered so it is possible that we have at least 2000 contractors here with close to half a million workforce. Mindanao, he said, is the single biggest producer of construction workers who are trained here and are sent to other parts of the country and of the world.

“The construction industry provides money for the local economy with a 15 times minimum multiplier effect in terms of suppliers, workers, lodging establishments and other support facilities,” he said.

Mr. Allado said there is a boom in Mindanao construction industry today, especially in Davao. There are two 300-MW coal-powered plants in full construction in the Region today, he said, with Therma South’s project 40% completed and SMC Global Power Holdings Corporation’s project in Malita just starting out. Two more coal-powered plants in Misamis and South Cotabato will start constructing soon, he added. “That’s only the power sector eh yung mining sector pa.”

He said the tourism sector is another big user of the construction industry with various tourism construction projects going on and many that are yet to be developed.

Mr. Allado said the Department of Education (DepEd) has completed the public-private partnership (PPP) bidding for 20,000 classrooms in Mindanao. Sector, which comprises almost the other half of Mindanao with 10,000 classrooms to be built in one and a half years.

“All of these spell at least P40 Billion for Mindanao alone,” he said.

The booming construction industry is one of the reasons why the organizers have decided to make PhilConstruct Mindanao a yearly event every September. With more than a hundred innovative suppliers of equipment, technology suppliers, materials and tools, the stakeholders of Mindanao’s construction industry need not go to Manila or Cebu to get the latest in construction technology, he said.

Mr. Pasawa said “Davao is a very good market for the construction industry with a 2.4% growth per annum, 1.5 million people and vast availability of land that is seven times larger than Cebu and three times larger than Metro Manila.”

He said the city has a very reliable 24/7 power supply which is also among the country’s cheapest at P6 per kilowatt-hour (kwh) (beaten only by Lanado del Sur) compared to the almost P8 per kwh in Cebu. The city has also consistently ranked at the top of the Most Competitive Cities Survey by the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), he added.

Davao City has a very vibrant construction industry, he said, that DTI has established desks and officers for regulatory purposes including the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board which handles registration and the Construction Manpower Development Authority which handles arbitration cases.

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