Construction projects in PH on the riseBy Michelle V. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The value of construction projects with approved building permits rose in the second quarter from a year ago on the back of substantial demand for residential and office spaces.
This was according to the National Statistics Office, which reported that construction projects with building permits were valued at P66.4 billion in the second quarter, up by nearly 18 percent from P60.9 billion reported in the same period last year.
The total value was spread over 29,424 projects, lower by about 4 percent than the 30,614 approved building projects reported for the same period last year.
Nearly half, or P32.6 billion, of the total value of construction projects was accounted for by the residential sector. Non-residential accounted for P28.5 billion and the balance covered repairs.
The total floor area for residential projects stood at 3.3 million square meters, while that for non-residential settled at 2.1 million square meters.
The total floor area for residential projects was up from 3.1 million square meters a year ago, while the total floor area for office and other non-residential projects was lower than last year’s 2.8 million square meters.
The double-digit growth in the value of construction projects was attributed to still significant demand for residential and office spaces.
Economists said the demand for residential spaces in the Philippines was partly boosted by remittances from overseas Filipino workers, while demand for office spaces was driven in part by demand from business process outsourcing (BPO) firms.
Remittances continue to drive household expenditures in the Philippines, with global demand for overseas Filipino workers remaining strong.
The Philippines has also become a key destination for BPO investments due to its English-speaking workforce and availability of information-technology infrastructure.
Meantime, the 4-percent drop in the number of projects was attributed to the rising cost of construction materials.
The NSO reported that retail prices of selected construction materials rose year on year by 3.9 percent in April, 4 percent in May, and 2.1 percent in June, for an average increase of 3.3 percent for the second quarter.
The average increase in prices of construction materials was faster than the average inflation rate for the period of 2.7 percent.