A business leader sees a drastic increase in the cost of building materials

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THE cost of building materials in the country has increased dramatically, said Barry Paulino, executive director of Philippine Contractors Association Inc. (PCA) and managing director of Philconstruct Events, Exhibitions, and Conferences Corp (PEECC).

In an interview with Sunstar Davao on September 10, Paulino said that the rising price of materials is one of the major issues that contractors and industry stakeholders are currently facing.

Paulino said that the cost increase is due to the increase in crude oil prices caused by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, as well as the current dollar denomination which has affected the cost elements concerning the importing resources.

“All construction companies around the world are reeling from this devastating effect of fuel prices. Pati makes tataas because they need fuel to produce (even manufacturing will increase costs because they need fuel to produce),” Paulino said.

Based on the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Wholesale Building Materials Price Index (CMWPI) as of June 2022, the annual rate of CMWPI in the National Capital Region (NCR) has increased to 8.9%, the highest rate since October 2008.

During the same period last year, the annual rate was 2.2%.

In the PSA report, the higher rate was mainly due to the higher increase in structural and reinforcing steel at 16.5%. It is followed by GI Sheet at 14.6% and PVC pipes at 11.2%.

Other commodity groups also experienced slight increases, including fuels and lubricants at 48.4%, electrical work at 8.7%, plumbing fixtures and fittings/waterworks at 7.6%, paint work at 6.2% and hardware at 5.7%.

Concrete products and cement also increased by 5.2%, plywood by 5.1%, sand and gravel by 4.7%, steel doors, jambs and frames by 2.2% and tiles by 0.7%.

Paulino said the construction industry is hopeful that the private and public sectors can address the industry’s hurdle, especially since prices aren’t expected to drop any time soon.

“Hangga’t meron tayong problema sa (As long as we have a problem in) Europe, we don’t see a not so bright future, but we manage… That’s why we are constantly talking to placement agencies implementation like the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Transport and Department of Trade and Industry. Hopefully we can sit down and find solutions to these issues,” Paulino said. (ICM)

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