David M. Consunji’s oldest brother, the late George Consunji, was the one who encouraged him to go to UP and enroll in the College of Engineering. David remembered himself to be a “so-so” student, earning passing grades. Things found a way of catching up with him when he started striking out on his own. This was when he got the best advice from a professor – to go back, read, and review. From this shaky beginning to his professional life, Consunji would grasp the power of knowledge, especially if one comprehends how it should be used.
Consunji got his big breaks when he started his own company and was recommended by his boss from American Wire & Cable who was impressed with Consunji’s capabilities. In 1954, DM Consunji, Incorporated (DMCI) was founded. Shortly after, the BUsiness Writer’s Association of the Philippines named David M. Consunji “Contractor of the Year (Private Sector).”
Consunji played a significant role in the construction of the UP Chapel. “In 1954, I made it a point to test and develop concrete and various kinds of aggregates coming from the Marikina River. We needed strong concrete and I thought I could make it at the UP Laboratory. Sabi ko, I can easily make 3000-4000 with less cement. So nagtiyaga ako to develop concrete that was cheaper pero mas malakas.” It was Engr. Junio, the structural engineer of the UP Chapel, who introduced and recommended Consunji to the chapel proponent, Fr. Delaney. To this day the UP Chapel remains his favorite because it taught him a lot of things – that with fewer materials, but with good knowledge and a good attitude, you can accomplish a few unexpected things.” With his talent, dedication, and expertise, Consunji became a member of the Cabinet when he was appointed Secretary of the Department of Public Works, Transportation and Communications from 1971-1975.
David M. Consunji has actively served in professional and trade, as well as civic organizations. At present, David M. Consunji holds various top positions in a number of companies. He is Chairman of the Board of D.M. Consunji, Inc. (a position he held from 1954 to 1971 and from 1976 to date); Chairman of DMCI Holdings, Inc.; Chairman & CEO of Semirara Mining; Member of the Board of Directions of the Atlantic Gulf & Pacific Co., Inc.; and President of the Philippine Contractors Association.
“The hundreds of landmark infrastructures constructed by DMCI symbolize the expertise and professionalism of the Filipino engineer.” Among the company’s landmark infrastructures are the Mactan Shangri-la Hotel; Manila Hotel’ Westin Philippine Plaza; BPI Housing Project; The New Istana Palace in Brunei; Asian Hospital, and Manila Doctor’s Hospital. At present DMCI is working on one of their biggest contracts, the skyway.
From professional, religious, and civic organizations, and education institutions and his alma mater, he received honors and recognition, most distinguished of which was his conferment of a degree of Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa, by the UP.