Sen. Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. has filed a measure to amend Republic Act. No. 4566, otherwise known as the Contractors’ License Law, which was enacted in 1965 to ensure that only qualified and reliable contractors are allowed to undertake construction in the Philippines.
At the same time, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri also disclosed that he will also file a bill to amend the same law to limit the entry and participation of foreign contractors in government infrastructure projects.
Revilla said that since 1965, there have been a lot of improvements in the construction industry and thus, our legislation needs to be updated, the senator noted.
Under Revilla’s proposed measure, no contractor shall engage in the business of contracting without first having secured a Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB) license to conduct business with conformity with the Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines (CIAP).
SBN 1809 stated that foreign contractors who wish to practice in the Philippines can do so if they meet the criteria set by the PCAB, in conformity with CIAP. However, “such foreign contractors shall duly establish their business in the Philippines, and shall ensure technology transfer and capacity building of local contractors,” it added.
Zubiri said he seeks to amend the Republic Act No. 4566 or the Contractors Licensing Law after the Supreme Court’s March 10 ruling paves the way for the entry of foreign contractors in infrastructure projects. The ruling does not limit foreign corporations from obtaining contractors’ licenses in the country.
The solon wants to limit the participation of foreign contractors to projects worth more than P2 billion and he wants to make sure that 80 to 90 percent of its workers are Filipinos.
DMCI president and chief executive officer Jorge Consunji said that removing existing regulations favoring Filipino contractors will “open the floodgates to unregulated entry of foreign-owned construction companies.”
Philippine Constructors Association (PCA) president Will Decena meanwhile urged lawmakers to safeguard and ensure the survival of local contractors and local workers comprising the industry.