The Trade department may recommend reimposing tariffs on imported cement by June as a prior Malacanang order to eliminate duties has not brought down cement prices, Secretary Peter B Favila yesterday said.
A cement industry group hailed this development, saying it will protect the industry from foreign manufacturers looking to dump their excess inventory into the Philippines.
The government, under Executive Order 766 issued last November, had eliminated tariffs on imported cement until June 2009.
Before this, a 3% levy was slapped on Portland cement from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members and 5% on cement imported elsewhere.
"If I don’t see prices improve, I will no longer [keep tariffs at 0%]. I’m not excited," Mr. Favila told reporters on the sidelines of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority’s investor recognition day celebration.
"As it turned out, prices haven’t gone down," Mr. Favila said in Filipino.