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Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo

Aug 4, 2018

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: Construction sector posts 4 M jobs"

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported a year-on-year increase of 468,000 jobs generated in the construction sector based on a Labor Force Survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority in April, 2018.

DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said, “We are elated with the strong performance of the construction sector. In April, 2018, total employment in the sector reached 4.012 million from 3.544 million during the same period in 2017. This is a 13.2-percent increase.”

At the start of the Duterte administration in 2016, employment in the construction sector was at 3.381 million.

“Construction is the largest contributor to employment among the industry subsectors during the period and we believe the “Build, Build, Build”   infrastructure program is the main driver of growth,” Bello added.

Secretary Mark Villar of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said that “Build, Build, Build” is gaining momentum at an unprecedented rate,” noting that more jobs were generated during the first two years of the Duterte administration compared to five years prior.

“In the first quarter of 2018, the Gross Value Added in Construction was at 9.3%,” he added.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade also noted that the increase in infrastructure spending is expected to create around one million direct and indirect jobs annually.

According to the transport chief, “This administration, through the strong leadership of President Duterte, is on target. Investments in construction grew by 10.1% in the first quarter of 2018. Public construction expanded by 25.1%.”

“Build, Build, Build is Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. This is providing life to our nation. Unemployment has already decreased to 5.5% from 5.7%, year-on-year. We expect this figure to shrink further,” he added.

On August 12, the Build, Build, Build team will launch Jobs, Jobs, Jobs at the SMX Convention Center from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

'Build, Build, Build' on track

Since the start of the term of President Duterte, DPWH has built a total of 3,945 kilometers of roads, and 892 bridges. The department has also rehabilitated 939 bridges spanning 40,192 meters, and strengthened 642 bridges spanning 29,260 meters.

DOTr has completed the construction and rehabilitation of eight international and domestic airports and has already night-rated five airports. The DOTr was also able to establish 10 additional air traffic management radars.

DOTr likewise began the construction of two integrated transport terminals, two train system projects, and started pre-construction activities for the PNR North (Manila-Clark) system. It has also completed 129 commercial port projects and eight social/tourism port projects all over the country.

For its part, BCDA has begun construction of the country’s first smart, resilient metropolis, New Clark City.  Phase 1 of the project includes the construction of the National Government Administrative Center (NGAC). In less than six months, it is now 20 percent complete and ahead of schedule.

“The thousands of jobs created from the Build, Build, Build program is only the beginning. The government’s infrastructure spending program will also propel economic growth outside of the capital region. It is not just about better infrastructure but about improving the quality of life of each and every Filipino,” BCDA President and CEO Vivencio Dizon said.

TRAIN vital for 'Build, Build, Build'

The Department of Finance (DOF) emphasized that 70% of additional revenues from the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law supports Build, Build, Build. According to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), infrastructure spending increased by 134.5% from P150.4 billion in 2015 to P352.7 billion as of June, 2018.

In a joint statement last June 6, the economic managers of the Duterte administration said, “We must bridge the infrastructure gap that has painfully made our country lag behind our ASEAN neighbors. Through , we seek to create more than one million jobs for our fellow Filipinos through 2022, while reducing logistics costs for businesses, especially micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), many of which are located in the provinces.”

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