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Still building

The Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research expects the Philippine construction industry to enjoy a double-digit growth of 13 percent this year as revived infrastructure projects are seen helping the country recover from the pandemic-induced recession.

“Infrastructure will be among the Philippines’ spending priorities in 2021 to revive the economy from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and natural disasters over 2020. The focal points of investment will be on water and transport infrastructure, particularly flood control, road development and rail,” it said.

In the 2021 national budget, the Department of Public Works and Highways got the biggest budget allocation increase of 61.3 percent to P695.7 billion while the allocation of the Department of Transportation climbed by 4.4 percent to P89.7 billion.

“Given this budget allocation, we expect sectors such as roads and bridges, water infrastructure, and rail to contribute the most to the construction industry’s overall growth in 2021,” Fitch Solutions said.

It added that transportation infrastructure would be central in the country’s strategy to use infrastructure investment as a driver of the economy’s recovery, particularly road development and rail.

While government’s spending priorities could have been shifted to improvements in the healthcare system as a response to the unprecedented pandemic that has ground economies to a halt, the good news is that Filipinos will have a construction boom leading to hopefully better roads and transport system to look forward to and enjoy when we finally recover from the ravages of Covid-19.*

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