Construction firms should get foreign partners

Rep. Arthur Yap (center), chairman of the House Committee on Economic Affairs.

House Committee on Economic Affairs chair Rep. Arthur Yap (3rd District, Bohol) presides a hearing on the Build, Build, Build program of the government and about foreign participation in ownership and operation of construction firms in the country.

Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte (2nd District, Camarines Sur) sought experts’ opinions on the implications of excluding assets in the computation of net financial contracting capacity.

The resource speakers who testified were Roberto Bernardo, undersecretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Ruth Castelo, undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry, and Ibarra Paulino and Jorge Consunji of the Philippine Constructors Association, Inc.

Rep. Bayani Fernando (1st District, Marikina City) was bullish on the ability of local entities to carry out large-scale projects. Fernando explained that instead of opening the door to foreign bidders, constructors in the country should be encouraged to seek out foreign partners that have the necessary technology.

Representatives at the meeting include Reps. Cesar Sarmiento, Orestes Salon, Rodante Marcoleta, Ferdinand Hernandez, Juliet Marie Ferrer, and Henry Ong. p: wjg