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Construction

Philippine Resources - October 11, 2020

Malolos-Clark Railway Project About to Begin

Following the signing of three civil works contracts worth more than $1.7 billion, the construction of the Malolos-Clark Railway project is about to begin. A flagship Philippine project funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the project cuts the travel time between Clark in northern Pampanga province and Manila from three hours by bus to one hour by train with a speed of up to 160 kilometres per hour. With a project helpful to the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 600,000 yearly and also spurs economic activity within the Clark area, this also creates employment of about 240,000 local construction work in the next three years and when completed, employs around 140,000 people. According to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, this project is by far the largest financing project by the ADB and the largest Build-Build-Build project by the Duterte administration. “Be assured that we are focused on our goal to make the Filipino life comfortable, the Filipino life convenient,” Tugade said. For ADB director-general for Southeast Asia Ramesh Subramaniam, he said, “The signing of these contracts means the Malolos–Clark Railway Project construction will now go on full speed, helping the country’s economic revival over the next 12 to 24 months. When completed by 2025 based on current plans, we expect the project to benefit nearly 350,000 commuters daily. We are proud to work with the Philippine government, development partners, and the private sector to deliver this important flagship infrastructure project using modern technology for the country.”Part of the planned 163-km North-South Commuter Railway Project with an objective of reducing road congestion in Metro Manila, this project can also aid in curbing traffic-related costs which total around $18 billion yearly in Metro Manila alone. Once this project is completed, this railway system expects to transport around 1 million passengers every day. The first contract package of the railway system was awarded to the joint venture of Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd. and Dong-ah Geological Engineering Company Ltd., both based in the Republic of Korea, and the Philippines’ Megawide Construction Corp. This involves the construction of about 17 km of elevated rail viaduct and two railway stations. For the second contract package, Spain’s Acciona Construction Philippines Inc. and Daelim Industrial Co. Ltd took over its helm, covering the civil engineering and building works for about one railway station and 16 km of the viaduct. Meanwhile, the third contract was awarded to Italian–Thai Development Public Company Limited for the building and civil engineering works for 12 km of the viaduct. The project is co-financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, which provides up to $2 billion in additional funding for the railway systems.

Construction

Philippine Resources - October 05, 2020

Mindanao Airports set to Begin Construction

Two new airports are soon to open in Mindanao, boosting economic activities in the area. According to Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) chair Emmanuel Piñol, the Central Mindanao Airport located in Tawantawan, M'lang, North Cotabato will be fully functional before the end-term of President Rodrigo Duterte while the new Zamboanga International Airport is to be built in a new location.He added that the Central Mindanao Airport will serve the provinces of North Cotabato, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, Davao del Sur, Lanao del Sur and Bukidnon, and complements the Cotabato Airport in Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao and the General Santos International Airport in General Santos City. "The project is identified as one of the priority projects that will catalyze inclusive and balanced rural development in Mindanao," said Pinol in a statement.Last June 21, 2020, a frangible perimeter fence was already put up around the area and coordination is still ongoing with the local government, the Department of Transportation, and other local agencies. Meanwhile, Pinol said that the Zamboanga airport has already been allocated P200 million for the acquisition of its new location in Barangay Mercedes. This new airport consists of the following features: six jetbridges, new terminal, modern control tower, new taxiways and aprons, and a 3,440-meter runway. The construction of this new airport is to begin in 2021. Presently, the Zamboanga airport has one terminal and one 2,610-meter runway, shared with the Edwin Andrews Air Base of the Philippine Air Force.“Minda closely monitors the implementation of these two major infrastructure projects,” Piñol said.

Construction

Philippine Resources - September 24, 2020

Dangers of Respiratory Disease at Construction Sites

By Marcelle P. Villegas“The deadliest things in the world are usually invisible to the naked eye.” This is a statement from a social media advertisement of Pinoy Builder, a website about infrastructure, design and construction industry in the Philippines. Their informative post aims to spread awareness of preventing respiratory illness while working in construction sites, in celebration of National Lung Month last August. Even after August and due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, our mindfulness in protecting our respiratory tract remains essential. August was declared as National Lung Month by former President Ferdinand Marcos on 24 July 1978 through the Presidential Proclamation No. 1761. This decree was signed by the former president in recognition of the fact that lung disease such as pneumonia and tuberculosis continue to exact a huge toll of precious lives among Filipinos, especially the low-income group. Those working in construction sites are quite a vulnerable group of labourers with regards to lung disease or infection. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, protecting our lungs is not only a matter of occupational safety but more so now for survival. Having healthy lungs is an essential part of having a quality life and maintaining employment. The Philippine College of Chest Physicians said, "The COVID-19 pandemic has created a truly unprecedented situation which affects us all." They also announced that the 25th of September is World Lung Day. "World Lung Day (WLD), 25 September, is a day for lung health advocacy and action, an opportunity for us all to unite and promote better lung health globally." [1] The Philippine College of Chest Physicians (PCCP) is a premier organization of lung specialists in the Philippines. They organize events and ad campaigns to increase public awareness among lay Filipinos about common pulmonary conditions and with an emphasis on the importance of preventive health care in maintaining healthy lungs.So what are the common toxic substances in a construction site that are harmful for the lungs? Pinoy Builder website enumerated four, namely: sawdust, asbestos, molds and cement dust. These substances are not only fine particles that are abrasive on the respiratory tract and eventually the lung tissues. They also contain toxic substances that should not be present inside the body in the first place.Inhaling sawdust or wood dust into the lungs can cause breathing problems and might lead to lung disease such as occupational asthma or even lung cancer. Asbestos when inhaled can seriously damage the lungs by scarring the lung tissues. (Imagine fine, sharp star-like particles inside the lungs whose tissues are soft and fragile.) The condition is called asbestosis which normally happens after heavy exposure to asbestos over many years.The symptoms of asbestosis are persistent cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, extreme tiredness, pain in the chest and shoulders, and in advanced cases, having swollen fingertips. The condition also leads to severe fibrosis and puts the patient in a high risk of mesothelioma or cancer of the lung pleura. (The pleura is a vital part of the respiratory tract whose role is to cushion the lungs and reduce the friction between the lungs, rib cage and chest cavity.) It can be a fatal condition where a patient with asbestos-related lung cancer has a life expectancy of 16 months. Molds are also dangerous for the lungs or respiratory tract because it may trigger asthma attacks and other upper and lower respiratory problems. Even those who are not sensitive to molds may develop allergic reactions to it such as irritation of the eyes, skin, nose, throat and lungs. The mold Aspergillus fumigatus can cause an infection called aspergillosis which is marked by wheezing, difficulty breathing, coughing, chest pain and fever.Cement is also harsh on the lungs. Prolonged and repeated exposure can lead to a disabling and fatal lung disease called silicosis. Generally, silicosis is a lung disease that develops when a person inhales dust that contains silica. Those are tiny crystals found in sand, rock, mineral ores, cement, etc. Repeated inhalation of silica can lead to scarring of the lung tissues that make it hard to breath.With all these dangers at the workplace, plus the threat of COVID-19, it is important to prioritize health and occupational safety in your company. Providing the proper protective gear for all employees is a good investment because having healthy workers is an asset and adds to the success factor of your infrastructure project. -----Reference:[1] Retrieved from Philippine College of Chest Physicians website - https://philchest.org/xp/Photo credit:Caption by Pinoy Builder for the August - National Lung Month social media postCement dust photo - http://yonsha.jp/

Construction

Philippine Resources - September 24, 2020

Guidelines for a Safe Construction Site Amid the COVID-19 Crisis

By Marcelle P. VillegasThe Philippine economy in general, along with many local infrastructure projects are greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The highly contagious trait of the virus became a source of anxiety and fear in the work setting since safety and life-threatening issues are now at play. For the past months, the construction industry is not only hindered by the strict lockdown rules, but it continues to be affected by the uncertainties created by this crisis. Due to the virus's contagious and fatal nature, many businesses started reassessing their protocols at the workplace. In construction sites, this reassessment is twice the work since the nature of the projects entails physical labour, team coordination, and is generally a large-scale operation. The Philippine government has also reassessed several health and safety guidelines to the public to promote social distancing and workplace safety measures. [1] A product of this reassessment is the Construction Guidelines for Project Implementation during the Period of Public Health Emergency. The guidelines were drafted by a Technical Working Group formed by the Philippine Domestic Construction Board. The objective of the guideline is to provide a safety manual for those working in construction sites amid the pandemic circumstances. [1]The guide includes the following topics:Materials Handling deliveriesManpower Awareness & communication Clearing to return to work Monitoring Proper work attire Social distancing Site operationMachineryMoneyRisk AssessmentMonitoringExcerpt from the Construction Guidelines for Project Implementation during the Period of Public Health Emergency:Background The President declared a state of public health emergency through Presidential Proclamation No. 922 s. 2020 to address the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) threat, subsequently placing the whole of Luzon under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) on 16 March 2020... The construction industry which contributes about 4.2 million workers to the country’s labor force, in anticipation of the lifting of ECQ, is getting ready to return to work and would like to ensure the safety and welfare of people, most especially those of its employees/workers. Construction industry players would like to focus on preventing the occurrence of and controlling the spread of the virus in the workplace, mindful that a single case of COVID-19 can lead to an interruption, if not total work stoppage. The global pandemic has affected livelihoods, lifestyles and industries including the construction industry which relies heavily on human resources. Total work stoppage from the time ECQ was declared has had debilitating effects not just on workers who are mostly project based and therefore paid on a daily basis but on contractors as well, majority of whom or 88% are small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The Philippine Domestic Construction Board (PDCB), an implementing board of the Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines (CIAP), mandated to formulate policies, plans, programs, and strategies for the development of the Philippine construction industry organized a Technical Working Group (TWG) comprised of representatives from contractors of varying sizes and suppliers coming from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao to draft the proposed protocols for the industry in preparation for resumption of construction work in areas under quarantine. “The TWG drafted the ‘Construction Guidelines for Project Implementation during the period of Public Health Emergency’ as a reference for contractors and implementing agencies, to ensure viability of projects and protection from and spread of the coronavirus. The TWG considered four (4) major components of the project cycle, namely; Materials, Manpower, Machinery and Money or the 4Ms of construction in creating the Construction Guidelines for Project Implementation during the period of Public Health Emergency.“These were developed considering SME contractors which employ the biggest chunk of the industry’s labor workforce and large contractors involved in both public and private infrastructure projects as well as vertical construction. The guidelines will give pointers in managing their human resources at this critical time but will likewise give important directions to contractors in managing their business not just for survival but to be able to contribute to the country’s economic recovery program.” For a copy of the complete Construction Guidelines, you may view or download it in this link:https://www.gppb.gov.ph/assets/pdfs/Construction%20Guidelines%20for%20Project%20Implementation.pdf“The new normal is restrictive, but enacting effective safety measures for the worksite is for everyone’s sake. Stay safe and stay prepared, especially with recent reports stating a rise in infections in the Philippines. Never undervalue the health of your workers, and never underestimate the contagiousness of the virus.”[1] -----Reference:[1] Retrieved fromhttps://pinoybuilders.ph/construction-guidelines-for-project-implementation-during-the-period-of-public-health-emergency/

Construction

Philippine Resources - September 24, 2020

A Bright Future with SMC’s upcoming projects and ongoing charity works

By Marcelle P. Villegas“We believe that our SLEX TR5 and Pasig River Expressway projects will be the next game-changers. These will fuel economic growth that’s sustainable -- new jobs will be created, tangible assets delivered and more private sector-led investments stimulated. Sama-sama. Babangong tayo.” (Ramon S. Ang, San Miguel Corporation)Mr Ramon Ang, President and COO of San Miguel Corporation (SMC) announced last August 25 the various infrastructure projects in Luzon for the next five years. The projects are worth PHP121.8 billion. Thousands of workers, local contractors, suppliers, haulers, national and local governments will benefit from these SMC investments for these projects. Mr Ang said, "San Miguel is fully committed to helping our country overcome this crisis. A big part of that is to continue, and not hold back, on new investments."He noted that SLEX TR5 will take four years to complete while PAREX will take three years. "By that time, the pandemic would have been far behind us."Additionally, he noted other major infrastructure projects like the Bulacan Airport, which is a PHP734-billion project will also be complete by then. "Within five years, the Philippines will be transformed and be better than ever."The Toll Regulatory Board of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) recently announced that the SMC's proposed SLEX TR5 and PAREX are certified toll road projects.The SLEX TR5 or South Luzon Expressway Toll Road 5 is a PHP26.38 billion project which spans a distance of 420 kilometers. It has four lanes starting from SLEX TR4 in Barangay Mayao in Lucena City, Quezon province all the way to the Matnog Ferry Terminal in Sorsogon. This is a Build-Operate-Transfer project with a concession period of 30 years. [1] The project can be completed in 46 months.The purpose of building the SLEX TR5 is to reduce travel time from 9 hours to 5.5 hours when travelling from Lucena to Matnog Ferry Terminal. This road project also connects major urban centers in Quezon Province and Bicol. Moreover, it will provide safer and smoother access to agricultural areas, food production areas, roro ports, fish ports and some tourist destinations. As for the Pasig River Expressway, a PHP95.4 billion project, this will start from Radial Road 10 (R10) in Manila and will end at the connection of the South East Metro Manila Expressway (SEMME) at C-6. This road project has six lanes and is an elevated expressway traversing the entirety of the Pasig River. The road has a distance of 19.40 kilometers. The Pasig River Expressway will be completed in 36 months and will operate under the 30-year Build Operate Transfer (BOT) scheme. As an advantage, travel time from R-10 to C-6 will be reduced to 15 minutes. This expressway also directly connects the western and eastern cities of Metro Manila. Hopefully, this will reduce congestion in the R-10, ESDA and C-5 by having connectivity among toll roads and freeways. This will also divert traffic to other alternative routes. Quick access to Makati, Ortigas and BGC will become possible now, given that they are the largest business districts of the Philippines which are prone to daily traffic congestion.These projects will begin as soon as SMC acquires the required permits and clearances. "Hopefully, we will be able to finalize with the government and they will find our proposals favorable to the country," said Mr Ang."In the short to medium term, our people need jobs," he added. "Among the most affected by the economic impact of COVID-19 are laborers who rely on daily wages and many in the construction industry.""We also have a lot of engineers or technical and labor workers from abroad who have either lost their jobs or decided to come home to their families. We can use their skills."-----Meanwhile, as we look forward to the completion of their future projects, how does SMC address the current difficulties of the poor during this pandemic?Last August, Mr Ang announced that they will provide free bread for poor communities through the various branches of their gas stations in Metro Manila. “Every community is home to children and families facing hunger. Through our various Petron stations, we hope to continue to get food to people who need it and help them make it through these challenging times.” [2]This food distribution will take place in 30 Petron stations near the depressed areas in Metro Manila. They shall distribute “nutribun” (a bread fortified with vitamins and minerals) and other regular breads. This program is in partnership with local government units in the cities of Payatas, Caloocan, Malolos, Tondo, and more. They plan to eventually distribute other food variants like rice porridge and other meals. Mr Ang mentioned that they will continue to provide food aid for the urban poor whose situation has been more difficult due to the lockdown restrictions.He said, “Many families are struggling to cope. What more the most disadvantaged among us — those who rely on daily paid work, or those who have no means of income at all?” He mentioned that even big companies have been hit hard by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. -----Reference[1] Abadilla, Emmie V. (26 August 2020). Manila Bulletin. "SMC lining up P122-B infra projects"Retrieved from - https://mb.com.ph/2020/08/26/smc-lining-up-p122-b-infra-projects/?fbclid=IwAR3DvMcY5KVEw_xvA0XEyNnlzPJb1FDIapblSR0vadtkocY4TGEJ9jwe_Sk[2] {Aug 17, 2020). CNN Philippines. “Bread kiosks to be set up at gas stations in Metro Manila to feed urban poor”.Retrieved from - https://www.cnn.ph/business/2020/8/17/metro-manila-free-bread-SMC.html

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