Marcos eyes bias for local materials for govt projects


PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is now eyeing a new measure which will prioritize the use of locally made building materials for government construction projects.

The chief executive said he is open to the recommendation of the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) Infrastructure Cluster, but he wants more studies done before he decides on the matter.

“We have to match the capacity and the demand. But again, that if you can say that from now on, 100 percent of our [building material needs]—comes from the Philippines, plants will be constructed for that, but we need to make everything clear, if it will be through an AO [Administrative Order] or some other form,” he said partly in Filipino during his meeting with PSAC members last week.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is now determining which construction materials can be covered by the issuance, while the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) was tasked to determine the legality of the proposed policy.

PSAC said local building material manufacturers are capable of meeting the stringent quality demand by the government.

It noted that if the proposed measure is implemented, such will help boost the sales of local manufacturers.

“Our advocacy is really to promote our buy local, Filipino-made products for Filipinos…it’s just fair for our government to take the lead, sir, in also patronizing our own locally-made products,” PSAC head and Aboitiz Equity Ventures President and CEO Sabin Aboitiz said.

PSAC is particularly pushing for the preferential use of locally manufactured cement since the government accounts for 30 to 40 percent of total domestic use of such building material.

Aside from infrastructure, other matters  discussed in the President’s meeting with PSAC

were how to reduce power rates through “regulatory reforms and addressing transmission issues,” among others.

The Council also urged the government to streamline the construction of water-related infrastructure projects, including multipurpose dams, in some regions.

Among those who attended the meeting were PSAC members Joanne De Asis, Manuel V. Pangilinan, Eric Ramon O. Recto, Enrique K. Razon; Ramoncito S. Fernandez, PSAC Infrastructure-Water SME; Daniel C. Aboitiz, PSAC Infrastructure-Energy SME; and Reinier H. Dizon, President, Cement Manufacturers.