Ongoing construction projects abroad undertaken by Philippine-based companies amounted to $630.025 million and provided employment opportunities to thousands of Filipinos.

Philippine Overseas and Domestic Construction Board Executive Director Doris Gacho
Philippine Overseas and Domestic Construction Board Executive Director Doris Gacho

Philippine Overseas and Domestic Construction Board (POCB) Executive Director Doris Gacho said the Philippines have skilled manpower and professionals who are globally acclaimed.

Thirty-six POCB-registered corporate service exporters with current overseas construction projects amounting have provided high value employment to 7,780 Filipino construction, engineering and human resource-related service workers.

POCB has issued and approved 18 registration certificates to overseas contractors and 17 project authorizations. A total of $118.786 million worth of overseas construction projects were facilitated through POCB-registered companies.

POCB is mandated to develop and promote the corporate exports of construction and related engineering services. Construction materials suppliers/manufacturers are innovating to address the needs of the global consumer.

"The construction industry is making its name not only within the country but in the international market as well. Filipinos are recognized for their expertise. Our workers are hailed

everywhere for their excellent work ethics and good communication skills. We have relatively young population and we have enough engineering graduates," Gacho said.

POCB is active in conducting webinars and has attracted investors interests. It has partners in Germany, India, the Middle East and China.

"We also source many of our materials from China such as steel," she said.

She added that investors from Europe, Germany and Switzerland have shown interest and even offered their technology to the Philippines.

"The Build, Build, Build program has attracted all these foreign players to invest here," she revealed.

The gross domestic product (GDP) at the constant price posted a 7.1 percent growth in the third quarter of 2021, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). One of the main contributors to the growth is the construction industry, which posted the highest growth rate at 16.8 percent followed by manufacturing at 6.3 percent and other industry sectors such as electricity, stream, water and waste management at 2.9 percent and mining and quarrying 0.6 percent.

Construction share to GDP by expenditure is equivalent to 12 percent.

Construction Industry substantially contributed 59.7 percent to overall capital investments or Gross Capital Formation (GCF) in the country.

The share of construction to total employment of 43.592 million as of September 2021, was equivalent to 10.2 percent. It continues to provide job opportunities, employing on average a total of 4.462 million workers.

To date, 105 out of 1,828 or 5.69 percent of infrastructure agencies are implementing the Constructor Performance Evaluation Systems (CPES). As of October 2021, there are 2,553 accredited CPEs – a 3.2 percent increase from the December 2020 figure of 2,474.

"The economy is opening up, we're able to manage Covid-19, though we are still facing challenges such as high prices of gasoline, construction materials such as cement and steel and other issues that affect the price escalation," the POCB executive director said.

Gacho has extensive experience in corporate communications, strategic linkages and networking, as well as program and project development and management surveys. She has a successful record of accomplishments in marketing and promotion, strategy management and strategic and operational planning including program planning, management and monitoring.

She led the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM)'s strategy management initiatives and in aligning the organization as well as managing strategic initiatives that cut across functions.

She was responsible for the conceptualization and led the agency's most recent business development initiatives including partnership initiatives to develop new revenue streams.

She also led CITEM's ISO 9001:2008 Certification efforts as CITEM's Quality Management Representative and supervised the agency's preparation of its Quality Manual System.