DMCI founder David Consunji dies

INDUSTRIALIST. David Consunji was ranked by Forbes as the 6th richest Filipino at the time of his death.

File photo from DMCI's 2011 annual report

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – David "DM" Consunji, the engineer who founded DM Consunji Incorporated (DMCI) and grew it into one of the country's top conglomerates, died at the age of 95 around noontime on Monday, September 4.

DMCI confirmed Consunji's death in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

"Recognized locally as the father of the contemporary construction industry, DM 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. The board of directors, management, and employees of the DMCI group of companies deeply mourn his passing," the company's disclosure read.

The industrialist took up civil engineering at the University of the Philippines, graduating in 1947 before going on to establish the eponymous firm in 1954.

DMCI initially started building chicken houses for the Bureau of Animal Industry before moving on to large-scale projects such as the Coca-Cola plant in Tacloban, Leyte and a cement plant in Bacnotan, La Union.

Under Consunji's leadership, the construction firm grew to become the largest engineering group in the country with interests in construction, mining, power generation, and property development under the holding company DMCI Holdings Incorporated which was listed in 2005.

Units of DMCI Holdings include DMCI, Semirara Mining and Power Corporation, DMCI Homes, and DMCI Power Corporation. DMCI Holdings also has a 23% stake in Maynilad Water Services.

These firms propelled Consunji to the 6th spot in Forbes Asia magazine's 2017 list of richest Filipinos, with an estimated net worth of $3.68 billion.

Consunji retired in 2014, turning over the chairmanship of DMCI Holdings to his son Isidro and taking up the role of chairman emeritus.

Beyond his business ventures, Consunji also served as secretary of the Department of Public Works, Transportation, and Communications from 1970 to 1975 during the Marcos regime.

Consunji was one of the 4 awardees of The Outstanding Filipino of 2002 as well as a papal awardee of the Knighthood of Saint Sylvester in 1988. –