Shortage of construction workers feared

Concern over a shortage of skilled labor in the country was expressed by some industry leaders during the recently-held Pandesal Forum.   The shortage is reportedly being felt not only in Metro Manila, but also in other urban centers in the country, with the construction sector being the most strongly affected,

Speaking to reporters at the Pandesal Forum, Federation of Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry President Henry Bon Liong confirmed that construction delays are being experienced due to lack of skilled workers.  He gave as an example his  own resort-construction project in Cebu, which had been off-schedule by three months.

Lim revealed that his company recruited 120 workers for the project, but that  only 20 workers showed up when construction began.

Many skilled machine operators reportedly were leaving the country to work abroad.  Meanwhile, local companies sometimes resort to encroaching on each other’s labor pool.

Ms. Alegria Limjoco, newly-elected chairman of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), likewise confirmed the difficulties being faced by construction firms.

Despite the two million new entrants in the labor market expected yearly, the problem persists because most of the youngsters have to  be trained in the required skills.

“The last thing we would like to happen is for foreign-assisted projects to bring in their own work crew,” she said.   

Photo credit: