Philippines: zero tariffs for cement to stay

Philippines: zero tariffs for cement to stay
Published: 08 July 2009

Duty-free importation of cement into the Philippines will be extended for six months it was announced yesterday.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has approved recommendations by the Committee on Tariff and Related Matters and appropriate executive orders will soon be issued, Cabinet Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said.

Trade Secretary Peter B. Favila, speaking after a Cabinet meeting, said his department was now studying if the directives should be made retroactive. Executive Orders 765 and 766, which had temporarily eliminated tariffs on the goods in a bid to mitigate price hikes, expired last June 21.

" Cement importers said the six-month extension is timely because they expect construction to boom within the second half of the year," Mr. Favila said.