Organization: PCA charts out plans for 2014

Past and current directors of the Philippine Constructors Association, Inc. (PCA) convened at the PCA Escobar Hall of the PCA office in Pasig City on January 14 to develop strategic initiatives that will further leverage the strength of the organization as the voice of the Philippine construction industry. 

Facilitated by Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Dean Andy Ferreria, the strategic planning session was divided into three parts and highlighted the accomplishments of PCA in 2013 as well as the specific programs that it will implement this 2014 through its organized committees. 

In the first part of the planning session, Mr. Ronnie Balberan of the Research, Education and Institutional Development (REID) Foundation, Inc. made a comprehensive presentation of the Philippine Country Report in which he gave an overview of the status of the Philippine economy based on prevailing trends in various sectors. He emphasized how the strong performance of the construction industry contributes in pushing the economy forward.

The second part of the session featured the presentations of Philippine Infrastructure Development Corporation (PIDC) Chair Rogelio Murga on the PCA and the Philippine Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Program, PCA Immediate Past President Tito Manalo on the Public Sector Market, PCA 2nd Vice President Dan Abando on the Private Sector Market, PCA 1st Vice President Jun Elepano on the Overseas Market, Philippine Overseas Construction Board (POCB) Executive Director Sonia Valdeavilla on the ASEAN in 2015 and Beyond, PCA Immediate Past 1st Vice President Morris Agoncillo on Labor & Materials Outlook, Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB) Chairman Ramon Allado on the PCA Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and PCA Foundation President Lilit Tumbocon on PCA, 68 Years After. 
In the afternoon, the group proceeded with the third part of the session where all PCA committee heads charted out their programs this 2014 with respect to the direction set by the previous heads of their respective committees.

The Construction Markets Development Committee plans to organize a Construction Company Management Course for company owners and set up a database of PCA members’ projects to promote the capacity of local contractors undertaking big-ticket projects. The committee plans to tap PCAB to assist PCA in this endeavor.

The committee also plans to hold a dialogue with PCAB on the Impact of Proposed Liberalization of Foreign Equity Limits for Construction Contractors. In 2013, the PCA completed a position paper on the issue and presented it to PCAB but the issue has not been firmed up since then.

As agreed upon by the Board, the PCA will also organize trade missions to Timor Leste, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Turkey and Iraq this 2014 as well as organize a seminar on PPP for PCA members, which will be held tentatively during the annual Technoforum in Manila.

Meanwhile, the Construction Labor Relations and Safety Development plans to conduct a one-day Safety Training with selected DPWH officials and PCA members. According to Mr. Madrasto, DPWH secretary Rogelio Singson and the CITC had already committed to participate in the training.

In line with its advocacy to uphold safety in the industry, the PCA will set up a database of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-accredited construction safety training institutions and safety institutions.

Through its Construction Manpower Development Committee, the PCA will spur trade skills assessment of the workforce of all PCA members and validate the existing training regulations for Reinforced Steel Bar (RSB) Fixers. The committee will also take charge of the project of the ASEAN Construction Federation (ACF) to harmonize construction skills standards in the industry.

One of the grandest plans of PCA in the long run is the establishment of the Philippine Construction Academy utilizing the CITC Training Center Grounds of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Marikina City. If the construction gets underway soon, the academy is expected to be completed in the next three to five years. 

This 2014, the Construction Materials, Equipment & Technology Development Committee will organize a research group to conduct comprehensive research on cement, concrete, rebar and asphalt. The committee will also push for amendments in the DPWH Red Book, Blue Book and the National Building Code. 

Through the committee, the PCA likewise plans to spearhead a Materials Engineer Refresher Course this year for the benefit of materials engineers. 

For Construction Finance & Taxation Development, the PCA will push through with the forum on “Taxation Update with Value-Added Tax” which gained momentum last year. This 2014, the committee will continue to hold a series of seminars on BIR Revenue Regulations to keep the accounting departments of construction companies clued up on the latest accounting standards as well as BIR and SEC regulations in the Philippines.

Chaired by Ms. Rose Ong of Wilcon Builders, the CSR, Public Information and Public Relations Committee is geared towards improving the image of the Association through the creation of multifaceted publicity materials and information placement in all possible media platforms. As a starting point, the committee will push through with its plan to ink a partnership with TV 5 through Ms. Sheryl Yao, which was shelved last year.

The committee is also studying the possibility of publishing a PCA column in a major daily to reach out to larger audiences and keep them updated about the recent undertakings and advocacies of the Association.

Through its CSR committee, the PCA is also eyeing to support the education of six (6) graduating students from the University of the Philippines (P) Tacloban who were affected by Typhoon Yolanda through the provision of laptops. 

The PCA will also set up a PCA structure for Calamity Response by coming up with an Operations Manual which will contain all standard operating procedures when conducting calamity response operations.
In the coming weeks, the appointed committee chairs are expected to organize their respective committees and hold meetings with their committee members to concretize plans established during the strategic planning session last week.