DTI inks a Memorandum of Understanding with FIDIC for Enhancing Local Capability in International Contracts

15 September 2023, MAKATI CITY — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) inks new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC), with the goal of enhancing Philippine local capability in international contracts.

IN PHOTO (L-R): FIDIC Affiliate Member, Engr. Salvador P. Castro; FIDIC Senior Corporate Devt Exec. Ms. Folake Idowu; FCL General Manager, Mr. Thanos Totsikas; FIDIC CEO, Dr. Nelson Ogunshakin; DTI Undersecretary Ireneo Vizmonte; CIAP Exec. Dir. Atty. Marco Maat; and PODCB Exec. Dir. Doris Gacho.

IN PHOTO (Top Row, L-R): POCB Board Member, Mr. Francisco Gonzales, Jr.; EEI SVP Mr. Norman Macapagal; CMDF Chairman Augusto Manalo; CIAP Exec. Director Atty. Marco Maat; POCB Board Member, Mr. Michael Reyes. (Front Row, L-R): POCB Chairman, Mr. Isidro Consuji; FIDIC Affiliate Member, Engr. Salvador P. Castro, Jr.; FIDIC Senior Corporate Devt Exec. Ms. Folake Idowu; FCL General Manager, Mr. Thanos Totsikas; DPWH Undersecretary Cathy Cabral; FIDIC CEO, Dr. Nelson Ogunshakin; DTI Undersecretary Ireneo Vizmonte; CIAP Exec. Dir. Atty. Marco Maat; PDCB Chairman Levy Espiritu; PODCB Exec. Dir. Doris Gacho; and PDCB Board Member Noel Flores.

The need to capacitate government engineers, architects, and other construction professionals on international contracts has been identified. The partnership with FIDIC is envisioned to support the Philippine Government’s infrastructure agenda with majority of projects undertaken through funding modalities supported by international development agencies or public-private partnership agreements requiring the use of FIDIC contracts, recognized as standards in the international arena. Likewise, the partnership will support the implementation of the Philippine Construction Industry Roadmap 2020-2030 to improve the quality of construction and related engineering services and promote integrity, professionalism and innovation across the supply chain.

As part of the agreement under the 2-year MoU, a national awareness campaign will be conducted as part of the global advocacy program of promoting the use of FIDIC contracts.

IN PHOTO: FIDIC CEO Mr. Nelson Ogunshakin and DTI Undersecretary sign the Memorandum of Understanding between FIDIC and DTI

Said MoU with FIDIC was signed by the DTI, through the Philippine Overseas and Domestic Construction Board (PODCB) of the Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines (CIAP), the agency in-charge of the implementation of the Construction Industry Roadmap.

The PODCB drives and monitors the implementation of the Roadmap Action Plan on Construction Services Exports and Outsourcing Plan advocating government’s support for construction firms and Architectural and Engineering (A&E) firms to strategically plan, build, and scale capabilities for providing Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) services, as well as educating and capacitating industry stakeholders on internationally accepted – standard contracts (e.g. FIDIC), contract drafting, management and administration, and developing negotiation skills for global competitiveness, and increased viability to undertake overseas projects. It also advocates for fair and equitable contract conditions for construction with the end-goal of maintaining the economic viability of the construction industry while upholding government’s development goals towards globalization.

Meanwhile, FIDIC, an international organization, promotes the FIDIC forms of contract and educates stakeholders on how contract provisions affect the efficient implementation of construction projects, especially big-ticket projects, and how to avoid and resolve disputes.

IN PHOTO: DTI Undersecretary Vizmonte delivers his message of support for the partnership between DTI and FIDIC.

Supporting the undertaking, DTI Undersecretary Ireneo Vizmonte said: “Through this collaboration, we are taking a decisive step towards innovation, competence, and sustainability in our infrastructure projects… The memorandum of understanding signifies the commitment to knowledge exchange, capacity building, and fostering a deeper understanding of international contract practices. With the guidance and expertise of FIDIC, we are poised to strengthen our local capabilities in implementing and managing our infrastructure projects in accordance with fair and equitable contracts”.

This was echoed by PODCB Executive Director, Ms. Doris Gacho, as she said that “The partnership between DTI and FIDIC signifies our steadfast resolve in pursuing our vision of a globally competitive construction industry powered by highly skilled engineers and construction-related professionals committed to quality, sustainability and integrity”.

IN PHOTO: FIDIC CEO Dr. Ogunshakin delivers his message of support for the partnership between DTI and FIDIC.

FIDIC Chief Executive Officer Nelson Ogunshakin, likewise said: “The program [the signing of MoU) should purpose to achieve greater strides in the future which is to allow people in this country to be trained under the FIDIC program through the FIDIC academy – also to be certified through the FIDIC Credentialing System…I hope this MoU will provide to be a real catalyst for us to move forward to help the Philippine industry to build better”.

Largest infrastructure implementing agencies, Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) also graced and supported the partnership.

DPWH USec. Cathy Cabral presented DPWH’s Strategic Infrastructure Programs and Projects, where she highlighted the agency’s accomplishments, and their vision towards creating more resilient and sustainable communities.

Further, DOTr Usec. Timothy John Batan presented their agency’s Transport Modernization Program. He highlighted that the DOTr has grown significantly throughout the years and with their projected mega projects and big contracts, the DOTr has been investing heavily on the conduct of FIDIC trainings for its people.

The new partnership was also supported by CIAP Executive Director, Atty. Marco Maat. In his closing message, he expressed that “[The CIAP is] excited about the continued support and collaboration between DTI and FIDIC in realizing the goals outlined in this agreement. It is through partnerships like these that we can ensure a stronger, more resilient construction sector for our nation. Together, we will accomplish great things”.

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