THE cost of construction in Manila remains relatively inexpensive, according to a global index of construction costs by consultancy firm Arcadis.

The Arcadis International Construction Costs Comparison 2019 report ranked Manila 82nd out of 100 cities in terms of building costs in 2019.

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In Asia, the Philippines ranked 6th, after Hong Kong, Macau, Tokyo, Singapore and Seoul.

The study evaluated 100 cities across Americas, Asia, Australia Pacific, Europe and Middle East during the first quarter of 2019, covering 20 building types.

According to Arcadis, the top five most expensive cities to build are New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Copenhagen and Geneva, while the five least expensive cities for construction were Bengaluru, New Delhi, Mumbai, Kuala Lumpur and Ho Chi Minh.

“Philippine GDP (gross domestic product) grew over 6% in 2018, maintaining its position as one of the fastest growing economies in Asia with significant growth in the construction sector, particularly in infrastructure, residential and commercial. The growth in tourism had led to more commercial and institution construction and put increased pressure on Manila’s infrastructure,” Arcadis said in a statement Wednesday.

Arcadis noted that the inexpensive cost of construction goes hand-in-hand with the Philippine government’s aggressive infrastructure program.

“We expect the construction market to remain strong in 2019 and 2020 due to ongoing government and private investments in major projects. The government’s commitment to decongest Metro Manila and provide accessible travel to Manila and Clark International Airport is expected to create more jobs and spur economic growth in the city and across other parts of the country,” Ross McKenzie, country head of Arcadis Philippines, said in the statement. —Denise A. Valdez