THE Covid-19 pandemic has impacted all industries, although not equally. Traditional restaurants, childcare, and entertainment and leisure businesses suffered huge losses as a result of stay-at-home and social distancing protocols. Food delivery business, on the other hand, experienced growth in sales.
In the construction industry, the pandemic has caused a number of construction projects to decline and construction suppliers have experienced difficulty in obtaining essential raw materials, having to rely more on what is locally available.
One such construction supplier is the Cagayan de Oro-based Priometal Mindanao Corporation.
According to Mary Grace Te, the general manager of Priometal Mindanao Corporation, the pandemic caused their operations to stop in March 2020 for two weeks. They had to close down their plant and office.
They only resumed their production in April 2020; however, it was apparent that their sales went down.
"The sales went down but still we continued because isa sad sa among gitan-aw is ang mga tao pud. And then there was a time also that after we resume from katong total closure gyud, nag three days a week lang mi and then skeletal force lang just to survive sa pandemic," Te said.
Te further shared that it was only at the end of 2020 that they decided to have their employees work from Mondays to Fridays.
"Six day worker man gud mi, so up to Saturday. Nag decide ko nga until Friday na lang. Mao na gyud ang among normal," Te said.
Priometal continues its production of construction supplies in order to cater their clients despite the challenges they're facing, which includes the availability of raw materials.
According to Te, before the pandemic struck, apart from using local materials, they also import from Japan and China.
"Local lang gyud mi karon kay lisod naman kaayo ikuha pa sa import, labi na China," Te said.
"I think dili ra man nga kani lang nga industry ang affected, tanan man gyud affected siguro labi na sa pag increase sa mga prices so we have to bear with it," she added.
Te said in order to cope up with the changes, she had to come up a plan to make a lean organization at the same get the efficiency of their output.
At present, Priometal's operations are almost back to normal, Te said.
"Medyo gaapas nami karon sa production tungod kay nag-lag man gud sya so ang construction industry pud halos gabalik-balik na pud sya. Since we are in the construction industry as supplier of construction materials, medyo nag apas apas na pud mi," Te said.
"Ga pick up na ang sales although dili pa ing-ana ka consistent," she added.
Priometal: Making headway in the construction industry
Moving forward from what they experienced due to the pandemic, Priometal is taking innovative steps in producing sustainable building materials for construction projects.
The company introduces its environment-friendly materials to Kagay-anons who are looking for supplies to make their dream houses, one of which is its innovative light metal jambs and door.
Priometal's iCo Meta-Jambs are eco-friendly, decorative yet simple with low maintenance smooth surface. They are durable, termite-, fire-, and rot-free as they are made from rust- and corrosion-resistant galvanized iron.
It is more affordable than wood and is shaped easily with minimum wastage, according to Te.
When it comes to metal-jambs, Te said Priometal's edge against the other construction suppliers is their rabbet.
"The good thing about our iCo Meta-Jamb is that it has an adjustable rabbet or viable rabbet because there are different thickness of doors. That's why your rabbet should adjustable to suit any door thickness," Te said.
"It can be sold by lengths kay we are the only one nga suppling per length," she added.
Additionally, Priometal has the iCo Ficemflus Door, also called as the door for all season, with its wooden look and does not shrink, expand or warp. It is water resistant, fireproof, as well as anti-termite. It is fully customizable and will last for longer years.
They also have the iCo Triple Furring which has an innovative triple function, with center-line indicators for easy installation. It has anti-twisting stiffeners. Other Priometal hardware accessories include: iCo MetaPurlin, Metal Studs and Tracks, and Fiber Cement Boards.
"It’s our goal for our construction firms, design professionals and consumers to use sustainable building materials in order to lessen the construction industry's harmful emission and waste to help rebuild and protect our environment," Te said.
Priometal Mindanao Corporation, a Cagayan de Oro-based pioneering light metal manufacturing company, is located along Yacapin Extension, this city.