Pandemic impact felt in construction, too, as projects fall in number, value
The number and value of construction projects in the first quarter of 2020 shrank by over one-fifth as the tail-end of March put a stop to construction works in Luzon and most parts of the country placed under COVID-19 lockdown.
The Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) latest construction statistics based on building permits approved from January to March showed that the number of construction projects fell 22.4 percent to 30,838 from 39,762 in 2019.
The number of residential, non-residential, addition, as well as alteration and repair construction works registered as of end-March also declined from 37,256 a quarter ago.
The value of these construction activities registered during the first quarter declined by 20.1 percent to P86.1 billion from P107.7 billion a year ago, PSA data showed.
The first-quarter total value of construction works in the country also dropped from P111.6 billion in the preceding quarter.
In terms of floor area, the approved construction projects between January and March totaled 7.9 million square meters, down from 9.5 million sqm a year ago and 9.04 sqm a quarter ago.
The Inquirer sought comments from economic and trade officials as well as construction industry executives but they did not respond as of late afternoon on Tuesday (July 21).
Industry experts believe that the lull in construction projects will be prolonged until yearend by the remaining quarantine restrictions—although less stringent than those imposed at the height of the lockdown from mid-March to May—as COVID-19 cases continued to rise.
At present, construction workers’ mobility was being limited alongside movement of construction materials.
It also didn’t help that some private builders could not resume their projects due to lack of funding as even banks may avoid lending to firms badly hit by closures or downsizing due to the pandemic-induced recession.
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