In a move to further liberalize the economy, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) which chairs the Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines (CIAP),is set to issue guidelines for a new license category that will allow foreign companies to secure permits as regular contractors and to participate in local construction projects with one hundred percent ownership.
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Gregory Domingo said during the 2nd EU-Philippine Business Dialogue on Tuesday that the DTI is in the process of completing the final version of license Quadruple A which will open the local construction industry to foreign participation.
“The Philippines needs more foreign contractors. We are opening the Quadruple A category for foreigners so they can be granted construction permits not only on a per-project basis but so they can be registered as regular contractors. You can take advantage of the quadruple vehicle we’re issuing very soon so you can locate your operations here and take advantage of the thousands of Filipino engineers and operators,” Singson told the members of various European business organizations during the dialogue.
He also urged foreign construction firms to take advantage of the booming local construction sector and to turn the Philippines into a regional hub from where they can tap the various opportunities in the ASEAN region. He added that the Philippines has a large pool of competent and experienced engineers and operators as well.
Liberalization of the construction industry was first proposed in 2013 but the crafting of Quadruple license A was delayed because of strong opposition from local construction companies.
However, after conducting a series of dialogues with local contractors who were given assurance by the DTI and the DPWH that the new regulation will not put them at a disadvantage, they finally agreed to support the proposal.
Secretary Singson clarified that “We have come to an agreement that there will be a minimum investment requirements of about P1 billion- it cannot be less than what the Filipino contractors with Triple A license are investing.”
He added that the guidelines will be issued very soon, most likely within a month.