Philippines: DTI to question producers on price rise

Philippines: DTI to question producers on price rise
Published: 15 March 2011

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Tuesday said it will summon cement manufacturers to explain why cement prices have gone up in the local market.

"They have to explain... the DTI would look at why they raised prices. We’ll call a meeting with them," DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya said told reporters Tuesday.

Maglaya said the three leading cement firms did not send their respective representatives to a recent meeting with the department and dealers of construction materials. The Cement Manufacturers’ Association of the Philippines was at the meeting but it did not comment on individual price adjustments of its members, according to the trade undersecretary.

Prices of cement brands Republic and Rizal rose 2.6 per cent and 2.5 per cent to PHP200 (US$4.56) and PHP205/40kg bag, respectively, two weeks ago on "high cost of fuel in the world market," the DTI’s price monitoring report showed.

Holcim Philippines Inc., meanwhile, had said it "will adjust its prices as it normally does whenever its costs, particularly fuel, have gone up."

Eduardo Sahagun, Holcim Philippines senior vice president for sales, marketing, distribution and technical services, had said the company’s price adjustments would be "within the current SRPs [suggested retail prices designated by the DTI]" and "will be different per area."