man at a construction site

Common Issues Leading to Construction Delays in the Philippines and How to Respond

In recent years, the Philippines has seen a boom in construction. Government programs for infrastructure building and the continued development of large commercial mixed-use properties are creating many opportunities for contractors to engage in business profitably.

If you’re about to take on a construction project in the country, you may have an experienced crew, different excavator types, and heavy-duty construction equipment at your disposal – but there still are some common factors that can delay or even completely derail the success of your work. Here are four issues you may have to deal with.

Land and right-of-way acquisition

Right-of-way (ROW) acquisition is frequently required for the development of construction projects such as roads. For work to proceed, third-party landowners must acknowledge and consent to the appropriation of an affected portion of their property.

As a contractor, you may encounter delays stemming from ROW acquisition at Philippine sites. You may not be furnished with a complete copy of the necessary documentation and parcellary survey, duly certified by the local barangay captain or mayor. Property owners may refuse to sign the permit. Anticipate the possibility of such delays, and make sure to engage early with the respective stakeholders to secure ROW, providing incentives to property owners if necessary.

Change of plans

Unexpected changes to project specifications and quantities are a common problem across the construction industry. Clients may request additional work to be done without adequately adjusting the budget or work schedule.

Sometimes, the delay comes from your end. Your crew might get overbooked for a period of time, leading you to subcontract. In turn, subcontractors may prove unreliable. Either way, you can minimize these issues by implementing better organization, tracking worker productivity, and client change requests to justify deadline extensions or bonuses.

at a construction site

Bad weather

Throughout the country, construction work often gets delayed due to the effects of weather disruptions – from heavy rains to unforeseen flooding. Workers experience discomfort and may need to cease operations due to safety concerns. Severe weather may also cause damage, lead to equipment malfunctions, and temporarily block the passage of supplies and workers through local roads.

While weather delays should be considered a force majeure in your contract, the impact on your business is still negative. Extended schedules can create a backlog of work for your crew and cause you to miss out on new projects. If you can justify it, using higher quality materials will lessen your site’s vulnerability to weather damage. Modular construction techniques will also allow you to accomplish work off-site and transport the build later on to your site.

Peace and order

Depending on your project location, the local peace and order situation may present a problem as well. Though not all areas in the Philippines are at risk of conflict between military and insurgents, local informal settlers may pose a disruption if they refuse to move out of the land where your work will be taking place. Obtain clearance from the local government unit and police commander to certify that the area is stable. Document this as evidence and be sure to report on any incidents or situations which may arise.

There will always be a possibility of delays in your construction project, but if you take the right steps, you can largely avoid or mitigate the consequences for your business.

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