APPROVED building permits fell 15.5% in March, accelerating the 12.5% drop a year earlier, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said in a report.

Citing preliminary data, building projects covered by the permits numbered 13,320, and involved 2.84 million square meters of floor area.

Construction projects represented by the permits were valued at P34.07 billion, down 24.3% from a year earlier.

Permits for residential projects, accounting for 67.3% of the total, fell 18.1% to 8,964.

These projects were valued at P15.06 billion, against the P19.66 billion recorded a year earlier.

Meanwhile, single homes accounted for 86.4% of the residential category with approved permits declining 15.7% to 7,743.

Building permits for apartment buildings totaled 1,113 while applications for duplex or quadruplex homes totaled 95, dropping 29.4% and 20.8% respectively.

Nonresidential projects were down 6.1% year on year with 3,105 permits, accounting for 23.3% of the total.

Nonresidential permits were valued at P16.37 billion, falling 24.5% from a year earlier.

Approved commercial construction applications made up 71.2% of all nonresidential projects, down 6.4% to 2,210.

Institutional building permits rose 3.2% to 510, while industrial permits dropped 20.2% to 221.

Approved agricultural projects totaled 89, down 17.6%, while other nonresidential projects totaled 75, up 13.6%.

Alteration and repair permits amounted to 832, down 18.3% from a year earlier and valued at P2.31 billion.

Additions, or construction that increases the height or area of an existing building, dropped 14.5% to 419 approved permits.

Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) had the most approved construction projects, making up 24.4% of the total with 3,245 permits, followed by Central Visayas (1,540 permits), and Central Luzon (1,505 permits).

The PSA said that construction statistics are compiled from the copies of original application forms of approved building permits as well as from the demolition and fencing permits collected every month by the agency’s field personnel from the offices of local building officials nationwide. — Karis Kasarinlan Paolo D. Mendoza