TRADE CHIEF TO PH CONTRACTORS: TAKE CHALLENGE TO BUILD BUILD BUILD. As this year’s host of the regional meet, the Philippines recently (25 October) took the lead with the first ASEAN+6 Construction forum to advance institutional and people-to-people linkages among construction industry players in ASEAN Member States (AMS). Delivering the keynote address, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez (center) shared the ASEAN vision of creating an integrated and seamless regional community, promoting competitiveness, prosperity, and inclusiveness. The forum aims to ramp up the PH construction industry in preparation for the Golden Age of Infrastructure through President Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘Build Build Build’ program. “To boost our global presence and keep up with our ASEAN counterparts, the Department of Trade and Industry is committed to its role in crafting fiscal and governance policies, while regulating contractors in comprehensive big-ticket infrastructure projects,” said Sec. Lopez. The Trade Chief further called on the local construction industry players to take on the challenges and opportunities of the ‘Build Build Build’ program as this would create and generate more local employment opportunities for Filipinos. To date, there are around 8,400 Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB) registered contaractors in the country, with over 300 under the Triple A and Quadruple A categories. “We should keep in mind that all of these efforts is to ensures that we attain our ultimate goal of creating inclusive growth leading to shared prosperity for all, especially for our fellow countrymen at the bottom of the pyramid,” he concluded. Included in the picture are: DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo (4th from R), Department of Public Works and Highways Maria Catalina Cabral (2nd from R), Mindanao Development Authority Chairman Datu Abdul Alonto (4th from L), and other construction Industry Executives.