Davao’s construction industry needs more workers

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 6 Sept) – Major construction players said there is a shortage of workers in the real estate industry in Davao City, following an aggressive expansion of major firms here.

Construction workers in Davao City. MindaNews file photo by KEITH BACONGCO

Davao Constructors Association Center Inc. (DCACI) president Michael U. Te told a business forum on Tuesday that the demand for workers has been showing an uptick, largely due to booming property development projects and to the Duterte administration’s ambitious “build, build, build” program.

He said the government’s massive infrastructure development project has helped push the industry growth, citing for instance the bigger infrastructure budget allocation for Mindanao.

Te could not readily provide the figure as to how many workers are needed to fill the industry gap but that some of the contractors are sourcing manpower from different areas in Mindanao to be able to push through with the projects in the city.

But for a building worth P50 million, he said they need between 80 and 100 workers.

“There is a problem on the workforce,” he said.

Manila-based Patrick Lawrence C. Tan, chief executive officer of Global Link MP Events International, Inc. who is also organizer of the 8th Philconstruct Mindanao here, said the construction is a labor-intensive industry and that population in Mindanao is not big enough to meet the industry requirement for labor force.

“There is shortage, so [construction] equipment becomes very important,” he said.

Tan added the 8th Philconstruct Mindanao will be held simultaneously with the 11th Manufacturing Technology of Davao on September 8 to 10 at the SMX Convention Center Davao.

He said this is going to be the biggest staging of the construction show ever amid the growing demand for more advanced and updated technology for construction, with 89 participants showcasing around 600 brands.

Tan said there will be participants from Japan, South Korea, China, and Germany.

“For those who are in the construction industry, they want to see new technology and be efficient in the projects they are going to get. When we talk about infrastructure, every year they need new technology to make it faster,” he said.

Tan said the Philippines has sustained the growth of the real estate industry due to the initiative of the government to bring big infrastructure projects out of the already congested Metro Manila.

“The Philippines’ real estate industry is one of the biggest in Asia,” he said, adding that the industry has sustained close to 10 to 12 years of straight growth.

“It will continue just because our growth is now outbound covering paces outside Luzon,” Tan added. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)