President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is planning to purchase locally manufactured building materials to be used for future infrastructure projects of the government, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said Sunday.
This came following the recommendation of the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC), led by businessman Sabin Aboitiz, for such.
Marcos said the proposal by the PSAC infrastructure cluster is “a step towards the right direction” as preference and priority in the procurement of government projects should be given to local products that meet the specified or desired quality.
The President thus ordered the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to closely coordinate with the PSAC in coming up with the list of specific construction materials that can be used for government infrastructure projects.
He also tasked the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), through the Government Procurement Policy Board, to complement the policy of giving preference to local materials through relevant guidelines, subject to existing laws, rules, and regulations.
Marcos also pointed out the need to specify which materials will be procured by the government to avoid any conflict.
“We have to match the capacity and the demand. But again, that if you can say that from now on, 100% of our – comes from the Philippines, magtatayo ng planta ‘yan [they will build plants]. But we need to make everything clear, kung AO (administrative order) iyan [if that’s an AO] or some other form,” Marcos said, referring to efforts to enhance local products.
The PCO said PSAC members asked the government’s support to “patronize” the local industry, stressing that the Philippines has lots of talents and products that are world-class quality, “if not at par [with], even better” than its neighboring countries.
The council also told Marcos that local manufacturing industries are producing cement, steel, and other construction materials that “conform with the Philippine national standard designed to withstand the country’s climate and other natural disasters.”
“Our advocacy is really to promote our buy local, Filipino-made products for Filipinos… It’s just fair for our government to take the lead, sir, in also patronizing our own locally-made products,” Aboitiz said.
DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual, for his part, informed the PSAC that the government has been supporting the “buy local, go local policy” which aims to promote local products in the country. —Giselle Ombay/KG, GMA Integrated News