SEVEN million job opportunities by 2030. A booming P130-trillion contribution to the national economy.
This is the target of the National Government and the Philippine Contractors Association (PCA) in the next 11 years.
The roadmap is laid down in the 30-year Infrastructure Master Plan of the Duterte administration.
According to Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, his department is pushing for the development of the country as an Artificial Intelligence Center of Excellence, and infrastructure development is crucial in realizing this goal.
The numbers given by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in the construction industry for 2018 provides an optimistic insight for infra development.
Last year, there were 40,369 construction projects in the country, an increase of 20.7 percent from 2017.
This is equivalent to a P122.4-billion share in the economy.
Out of this number, the residential buildings account for 29,845 or a booming 73.9 percent of the total construction projects.
Non-residential projects were recorded at 5,491 or 13.6 percent.
The top five regions where these projects are concentrated are Calabarzon, Central Visayas, Central Luzon, National Capital Region and Davao Region.
Among the provinces, Cavite tops the list on the residential construction projects. Big players in real estate development like Lancaster Estates, Ayala Group, ACM Homes and more have numerous housing projects in Cavite.
In Central Luzon, Pampanga continuously grows as a business and residential hub. The biggest housing developer is Hausland Development Corp., followed by Ayala Land, Solana Land, Camella Homes and Borland Real Estates. This is not to mention residential projects at Megaworld Corporation's Capital Town in the City of San Fernando.
Aside from these companies, foreign investors are also pitching in billions of pesos in constructing high-rise condominiums around Angeles City. Kandi Realty has four condominium towers in place, with the last one still ongoing construction.
Meanwhile, there is also the Zeppelin Condominium Towers, the upcoming 15-storey One Euphoria Residences in Balibago and several other projects within the City.
Given the increasing infrastructure development projects, the big challenge to the industry right now is to address the growing demand on manpower and the escalating prices of materials.
The major concern of all contractors is the scarcity of highly skilled workers. There is a huge deficiency in the number of skilled workers for specific works in the industry.
The government, both national and local, should identify the numbers and supply the needed manpower.
There is no other way but to seriously address the problem and be more pro-active.