Technical Notes on Construction Statistics from Approved Building Permits

Release Date: 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


The collection of approved building permit forms started in 1977 when the National Census and Statistics Office and the Department of Local Government and Community Development entered into an informal agreement in 1976 to implement the provisions of the national building code and monitor the building permit forms. Later on January 6, 1978, Memorandum of Agreement between NCSO and the former Department of Public Works, Transportation and Communication (DPWTC) defined the agencies' responsibilities in the collection of private construction statistics. From then on, the collection, processing, analysis and dissemination of construction statistics became the responsibility of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) while the printing of the building permit forms became the responsibility of the DPWTC (now the Dept. of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). With the devolution of some functions of the National Government to the LGUs under the 1991 Local Government Code, the implementation of the National Building Code is vested in the city or municipal government. In 1993, a joint Memorandum Circular was issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the DPWH defining the duties and responsibilities of the municipality/city engineers relative to the implementation of the National Building Code (NBC). As a result, the printing of the building permit and certificate of completion forms became the responsibility of the local building official. The production of construction statistics from approved building permit remained the responsibility of the PSA.

Scope and Coverage

Private construction statistics from approved building permits relate to data on new constructions and additions, alterations and repairs of existing residential and non-residential buildings and other structures undertaken in all cities/municipalities of the country.

Source if Information

Construction statistics are compiled by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) from the copies of original application forms of approved building permits as well as from the demolition permits collected every month by PSA field personnel from the Offices of Local Building Officials (LBOs) nationwide. For this publication, data for the provinces of Sulu and Tawi-tawi are not included in the tabulation as these provinces did not submit approved building permit documents and/or certification of no construction.


Data on private building constructions refer to those proposed to be constructed during the reference period and not to construction work completed during the reference period. The completeness of the number of building permits collected relies on the approval of applications filed with the LBOs. Hence, private building constructions without approved building permits are excluded in the tabulation of data.

Geographic Classification

Private building constructions are classified and presented by geographic area using the Philippine Standard Geographic Classification (PSGC). The PSGC contains the latest updates on the official number of regions, provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays in the Philippines. It consists of 17 administrative regions as approved under Executive Order No. 36 dated 19 September 2001 (Providing for the Reorganization of the Administrative Regions in Mindanao) and Executive Order No. 103 dated 17 May 2002 (Dividing Region IV into Region IV-A and Region IV-B, transferring the province of Aurora to Region III). The geographic codes are in accordance with NSCB Resolution No. 3, Series of 2005 that approved the PSGC.

Industry Classification

Private building construction statistics utilizes the amended 1994 Philippine Standard Industrial Classification (PSIC) to classify the main activity through the use or type of occupancy of the building.


The number of building permit forms accomplished by the applicant comes in five (5) copies. The "PSA copy" of the approved building permit is made available within the first five (5) working days after each reference month. Collections of these documents from the Local Building Official (LBO) in city/municipality are undertaken by PSA field personnel within this period. Collected documents for each month are properly checked as to its completeness by verifying the beginning and ending numbers indicated in the permit numbers. Missing numbers are indicated, with corresponding reasons, in the transmittal. In cases where there is no construction in a given month in a municipality, a certification that there was no construction is provided by the LBO to the PSA field staff.

Data Processing

Data processing of approved building permits is done both manually and mechanically. Copies of documents collected from the offices of LBOs are properly controlled, sorted, edited and coded, folioed and encoded in the PSA provincial offices. During machine validation, inconsistent and invalid entries which are flagged in an error listing are corrected in the data file. This process is repeated until there are no more inconsistent or erroneous entries found in the error listing. The cleaned data files are then forwarded to PSA Central Office for further processing and consolidation of data files for the generation of preliminary tables. Data files received after the cut-off dates of submission set for each quarter are to be included in the final data. Preliminary results are based from data files that have undergone data processing in the provincial offices. Hence, preliminary results may be revised to include documents received after cut-off period for preliminary tabulation and/or due to additional data processing and evaluation at the Central Office. The revision of statistics for a particular quarter is reflected in the annual tables which are considered as the final data. The annual tables are generated when all the monthly tables for the year have been completed and finalized.

Statistics Generated

Construction statistics generated from approved building permits provide monthly data on building construction at the municipality level nationwide. This statistics include:

  • number
  • floor area
  • type of building
  • value of construction
  • number of storey

Statistical Tables

The statistical tables are presented at the regional and provincial levels by type of building and by period according to form of ownership. Preliminary tables are generated 90 days after the reference quarter while annual tables are generated eight months after the reference year. Statistical tables at the municipal level are also generated but are not published.

Unpublished Data

Aside from the preliminary tables posted in the PSA website, annual, quarterly and monthly statistical tables at the municipal level by type of building and by form of ownership are available at the Industry Statistics Division, Philippine Statistics Authority. Other special tabulations may also be made available upon request, addressed to the Administrator, Philippine Statistics Authority, Solicarel Bldg. I, Ramon Magsaysay Blvd. Sta. Mesa, Manila.


Construction statistics derived from approved building permits are made public in the form of Special Releases posted in the PSA website. The quarterly Special Releases are reports containing the preliminary results of construction statistics generated 90 days after the reference quarter while the annual Special Release is a consolidated report of the quarterly preliminary data including the revisions made in the preliminary results and data from documents which are submitted after the cut-off dates for each quarter.

Definition of Terms:

Building permit is a written authorization granted by the Local Building Official (LBO) to an applicant allowing him to proceed with the construction of a specific project after plans, specifications and other pertinent documents have been found to be in conformity with the National Building Code (PD 1096).

Building refers to any independent, free-standing structure comprised of one or more rooms or other spaces, covered by a roof and enclosed with external walls or dividing walls, which extend from the foundation to the roof.

Construction refers to an all on-site work done from site preparation, excavation, foundation, assembly of all the components and installation of utilities and equipment of buildings/structures.

Residential building is a building for which its major parts or more than half of its gross floor area is built for dwelling purposes. This type of building can be of the single type, duplex, an apartment and/or accessoria and residential condominium.

Single house is a complete structure intended for a single family or household, i.e. bungalow, 2-storey house, nipa hut.

Duplex house is a structure intended for two households, with complete living facilities for each; it is a single structure divided into two dwelling units by a wall extending from the floor to the ceiling.

Apartment is a structure, usually of two storeys, made up of independent living quarters, with independent entrances from internal walls and courts.

Accesoria is a one or two-floor structure divided into several dwelling units, each dwelling unit having its own separate entrance from the outside.

Residential condominium is a structure, usually of several storeys, consisting of multiple dwelling units.

Other residential constructions consist of school or company staff houses, living quarters for drivers and maids and guardhouses. N

on-residential building includes these type commercial, industrial, agricultural and institutional buildings.

Commercial buildings refer to office buildings and all buildings which are intended for use primarily in wholesale, retail and service trades; i.e. stores, hotels, restaurants, banks, disco houses, etc.

Industrial buildings are all buildings used to house the production, assembly and warehousing activities of industrial establishments; i.e. factories, plants, mills, repair shops, machine shops, printing press, storage plant, electric generating plants.

Institutional buildings are buildings which primarily engaged in providing educational instructions and hospital/health care; ports, airports and other government buildings; i.e. school, museums, libraries, sanitaria, churches, hospitals.

Agricultural buildings are buildings used to house livestocks, plants and agricultural products such as barn, poultry house, piggeries, stables, greenhouses and grain mill.

Other non-building constructions include cemetery structures, street furniture, waiting sheds, communication towers, etc.

Addition refers to any new construction which increases the height or area of an existing building/structure.

Alteration is a construction in a building/structure involving changes in the materials used, partitioning and location/size of openings, structural parts, existing utilities and equipment but does not increase the overall area thereof.

Repair is a remedial work done on any damaged or deteriorated portion/s of a building/structure to restore its original condition.

Demolitions refer to the systematic dismantling or destruction of a building/structure or in part.

Street furnitures are street structures consisting of monuments, waiting sheds, benches, plant boxes, lampposts, electric poles and telephone poles.

Floor area of building refers to the sum of the area of each floor of the building measured to the outer surface of the outer walls including the area of lobbies, cellars, elevator shafts and all communal spaces in multi-dwellings. Areas of balconies are excluded.

Total value of construction refers to the sum of the cost of building, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and others. The value is derived from the approved building permit and represents the estimated value of the building or structure when completed.