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DOLE: 120,000 workers needed for PH construction boom


MB FILE—The real estate and construction industries are two of the sectors that helped the Philippines become the fastest growing economy in the region. This is visible in Cebu City where construction of high-rise buildings provide employment to thousands while providing enough office space for new BPO offices. (Juan Carlo de Vela/ Manila Bulletin)

Published January 1, 2017, 12:40 PM
By Samuel Medenilla

A surge in demand for construction-related jobs is expected in the next five years with the onset of the country’s construction boom, the Department of Labor and Employment forecast.

MB FILE—The real estate and construction industries are two of the sectors that helped the Philippines become the fastest growing economy in the region. This is visible in Cebu City where construction of high-rise buildings provide employment to thousands while providing enough office space for new BPO offices. (Juan Carlo de Vela/ Manila Bulletin)

DOLE’s Bureau of Local Employment (BLE) estimates the construction industry will need an additional 120,000 workers starting this year up to 2022 to address its labor shortage.

“The construction industry is currently in need of 200,000 workers, but there is currently only 80,000 supply in the labor market,” said BLE director Dominique Tutay.

She said laborers, electricians, heavy equipment drivers and safety engineers are among the most highly sought after skills by construction firms.

DOLE said it will soon conduct a nationwide audit of the construction sector to ensure the labor and safety rights of workers in preparation for the entry of thousands of new workers in the construction field.

Tutay added that local education and training institutions were already advised to increase their students and trainees in construction-related fields to address the labor shortage. “We are encouraging them to just continue training those who are looking for jobs… They (workers in construction-related field) should have a certain set of skills, which the industry is looking for.”

In a previous press conference, labor undersecretary Dominador Say stated they are also mulling on tapping overseas Filipino workers to ease the tight demand for construction workers.

Agreeing with the labor undersecretary, Tutay said a local construction firm considered absorbing some of the 11,000 Filipino construction workers reportedly displaced in Saudi Arabia in 2016.

The Philippine office of U.S.-based property consultancy firm Colliers International earlier reported several construction projects from the private sector last year were delayed for lacking the necessary manpower.

Colliers said the shortage may worsen this year as the government’s infrastructure projects kick off.

Tags: Bureau of Labor Employmenet, construction, demand, DOLE, DOLE: 120000 workers needed for PH construction boom, employment, jobs, local, Manila Bulletin

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