Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Philippine Construction Industry: Problems, Opportunities, and Risk Management Methods of National Capital Region-based Contractors
The COVID-19 pandemic not only threatened the health and safety of individuals but also affected economies and industries worldwide. Considered one of the drivers of economic development, the construction industry suffered from the impacts of the pandemic. Therefore, documented pandemic impacts are crucial to preparing for the next health emergency. With this, the study aims to investigate the impacts through an online survey with respondents of 50 project managers, executives, and project staff from contracting companies based in the National Capital Region. These professionals offered information on the construction industry during the pandemic, including the prominent impacts encountered, risk management methods implemented, opportunities experienced, and their willingness to apply construction technologies. The most prominent impacts included the financial burden due to additional health and safety requirements, project suspension and delays, reduced productivity, and material and equipment procurement difficulties. The opportunities experienced involved increased demand for healthcare and infrastructure projects. The implemented risk management methods included the health and safety protocols such as using personal protective equipment, temperature checks, and mandatory RT-PCR testing on suspect cases, among others. Furthermore, other innovative strategies implemented were the use of digital technologies, workforce transformation through the work-from-home set-up, and policy responses. Lastly, respondents were most interested in applying prefabrication and modular construction technologies in their construction process. Overall, the study aims to be a reference for the construction industry’s stakeholders who wish to understand the impacts of the pandemic and to determine possible pandemic risk management strategies for a safe and productive construction process.
Keywords — pandemic, impacts, safety guidelines, Philippine construction industry, contractors