President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has approved a proposal to extend duty-free imports of cement to stabilise prices, a Cabinet official said on Monday.
Duty-free imports for the commodities, which lapsed last month, will last for six more months and will be enforced retroactively, Trade Secretary Peter B. Favila told Malacañang reporters in a teleconference.
Without the exemption, importers must pay a 3-percent tariff if they are buying from member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and 5 percent if they buy elsewhere.
In December 2008, Mrs. Arroyo issued Executive Orders 765 and 766, which lifted duties on cement for six months.
After the directives lapsed, a six-month extension was ordered via Executive Orders 818 and 819 in July 2009. Both orders expired last Jan. 12.
Favila did not say when the new directives would be issued.