SENATOR Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. has a filed a measure which seeks to amend an antiquated law granting licenses to contractors in the construction industry and to rectify infirmities in the said law.
Senate Bill 1809 seeks to amend Republic Act. No. 4566, otherwise known as the Contractors’ License Law, which was enacted in 1965 to ensure that only qualified and reliable contractors are allowed to undertake construction in the Philippines.
“With the vital role that the construction industry plays in national development, it becomes imperative that the State’s policies be attuned with the times and adjusted to current standards,” Revilla said in his explanatory note of the bill.
Since 1965, there have been a lot of improvements in the construction industry and thus, our legislation needs to be updated, the senator noted.
“Firstly, this bill seeks to promote competition in the industry and in doing so, increase capability and promote possible transfer of technology. Secondly, this bill updates the fees and penalties to make it applicable in present trends. Thirdly, it seeks to adjust the validity of licenses to respond to the call of industry players and in turn encourage them to do business in the country,” he said
Under Revilla’s proposed measure, no contractor shall engage in the business of contracting without first having secured a Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB) license to conduct business with conformity with the Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines (CIAP).
SBN 1809 stated that foreign contractors who wish to to practice in the Philippines can do so if they meet the criteria set by the PCAB, in conformity with CIAP. However, “such foreign contractor shall duly establish its business in the Philippines, and shall ensure technology transfer and capacity building of local contractors,” it added.
Revilla said existing fees have not been amended since the law’s enactment back in 1965. The adjusted fees, based on Revilla’s proposal, is P5,000 for an original license, P6,000 for an examination of an applicant, and P5,000 for annual renewal.
Revilla proposes that a license be valid for one year from its issuance, and may be renewed by filing an application for renewal at least one month before its expiry date.
Any contractor submits or attempts to submit a bid to contract without first securing a certificate or a license shall be fined not less than P50,000 if the cost of the project is not more than P500 million and a fine of not less than P500,000 shall be imposed if the cost of the project is more than P500 million, the proposal stated, adding that the penalty of deportation shall be meted if the offender is a foreign contractor.