Construction recovery from lockdown may take 1-2 months: Megawide

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 14 2020 03:30 PM | Updated as of Apr 14 2020 10:31 PM

Construction continues even at the inauguration of Robinsons Land Corp’s first township, Bridgetowne, on September 4, 2019. The township includes a bridge that connects Quezon City and Pasig that is seen to help ease traffic congestion. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - (UPDATE) Construction in the Philippines will take 1 to 2 months to fully recover from the coronavirus lockdown that shut most businesses and required people to stay at home, builder Megawide said Tuesday.

It will take time for laborers from the provinces to return, while logistical issues over materials and supplies will likely persist, said Megawide chairman and CEO Edgar Saavedra.

"We expect a reduction in productivity because of the stringent health and safety guidelines," Saavedra told ANC.

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Saavedra said the faster rollout of government-funded infrastructure projects could help stimulate the economy. 

Three major railway projects in Luzon are worth around P1 trillion: the North and the South Luzon railway projects and the Mega Manila Subway, he said.

Private sector projects, especially in real estate, will depend on the country's employment situation after the lockdown, he said. There is still a lot of uncertainty on when people will be able to get back to to work, he said.

"The earlier that they can get back their jobs the earlier we (construction industry) can recover."

Megawide's clients, such as 8990, Double Dragon and Megaworld, however told the construction firm to proceed and complete the construction of their projects, he said.

The company has paused construction on 34 projects in Metro Manila and Cebu because of the lockdown, he said.

Megawide is ready to turn over the new Clark International Airport terminal to the government once the lockdown is lifted, he said, adding 96 percent of the facility is finished.