DTI: Flagship infra projects won’t strain suppliers

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AMID CONCERNS about the construction sector’s ability to service infrastructure projects, the government said it is confident key materials suppliers have sufficient capacity.

Trade Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Ease of Doing Business Ruth B. Castelo said at the second Philippine Construction Congress that while demand will rise for construction materials, domestic industry can handle the government’s requirements, and imports can also be resorted to.

“We have certain [technical] regulations for standard compliance and then we’re ready to import in case manufacturing in the country would be insufficient… Particularly, for cement, the current demand growth is now six to 7% at least, with the roll out of the projects, that would jump to 8% to 10%,” she added.

“What I know now is that in the cement industry there are more manufacturers because we have huge manufacturers — Holcim, Republic Cement, Eagle Cement.”

Ms. Castelo is also an official with the Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines.

The government’s project pipeline consists of 75 big-ticket projects, including  31 roads and bridges, 12 rail and urban transport projects, 10 air and water transport projects, four flood management projects, 11 irrigation projects, and four power projects, among others.

The government has allotted P8.4 trillion for the infrastructure projects over the course of five years.

Citing Timetric data, the Department of Trade and Industry  said in a statement that residential and infrastructure construction will bring the industry’s revenue to $47 billion by 2020, while the infrastructure sector is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 14.14% to  $14.7 billion by that year.

The second congress is expected to produce a five-year road map and a memorandum of commitment to adhere to the goals, for signing by the government and the industry.  Anna Gabriela A. Mogato

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