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Remembering David Consunji, Founder of DMCI, Philippines' Sixth Richest

David Consunji, the founder of DMCI and the nation's 6th richest person, passed away this week at the age of 95.
IMAGE DMCI HOLDINGS
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Construction magnate and business leader David Consunji passed away this week. The founder of DM Consunji, Inc. (DMCI) was 95.

Consunji was born to a middle class family in Bataan. He finished high school at De La Salle University, then took up Civil Engineering at the University of the Philippines. Prior to becoming the Philippines’ sixth richest person, Consunji went through some very tough years in the construction business. He founded DM Consunji, Inc. (DMCI) in 1954, starting as a small contractor.

Known for his discipline and work ethic, his company, though small, developed a reputation for finishing projects ahead of time. His biggest break came when he bagged a project building the Coca-Cola Tacloban plant and finished it six months ahead of schedule. Over the years, Consunji gained the trust of top corporations including the Ayala Group, the SM Group, and multinational corporations such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Nippon Steel.

 

A Life Dedicated to Service

Consunji served as the secretary of the Department of Public Works, Transportation, and Communications from 1970 to 1975 during the Marcos administration.

Aside from serving in the government, he also served as president of several contractors’ associations, the Philippine Contractors Association, International Federation of Asian & Western Pacific Contractors' Association, Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers and Vice-President of the Confederation of International Contractors' Association.

Consunji also served as chairman of the board of directors of Freyssinet Post Tensioning System, Constress Philippines, Filipinas Cement Corporation and president of the Filipino Contractors International Corporation.

Today, DMCI is considered one of the top construction firms in the country. Consunji’s group of companies includes DMCI, DMCI Homes, DMCI Power Corporation, and Semirara Mining and Power Corporation.

Building His Legacy as the "Father of Contemporary Construction Industry"

Locally, Consunji is affectionately recognized as the Father of Contemporary Construction Industry. According to a  statement by DMCI, he built “landmarks and redefined cityscapes for generations of Filipinos. He valued not the quick profit but the satisfaction of doing one's work well, honestly, and proudly.”

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Some of the most notable landmarks built by DMCI under Consunji’s leadership include the following:

 

  • Manila Hotel (Rizal Park, Manila)

  • Philippine International Convention Center (CCP Complex, Pasay City)

  • The Westin Philippine Plaza/Sofitel (CCP Complex, Pasay City)

  • Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex (CCP Complex, Pasay City)

  • Solaire Resort & Casino (Entertainment City, Bay City, Paranaque City)

  • SM Megamall (Mandaluyong City)

  • Mactan Shangri-La Hotel (Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu)

  • Makati Shangri-la (Makati City)

  • Shangri-la Resorts & Spa Boracay (Malay, Aklan)

  • The New Istana Palace (Sultan’s Palace, Brunei, Darussalam)

  • The Asian Hospital (Filinvest Corporate City, Muntinlupa)

  • The Manila Doctor’s Hospital (UN Avenue, Manila)

Awards and Recognitions

Some of Consunji's notable awards include the “Contractor of the Year” award given to him in 1958 by the Business Writers of the Philippines, just four years after founding DMCI.

In 1988, he became a papal awardee of the Knighthood of Saint Sylvester, one of five Orders of Knighthood awarded by the Pope himself. He was also among the four recipients of The Outstanding Filipino of 2002.

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