Apart from the rising cost of raw materials, power and fuel, Cemex Philippines is said to be concerned over the decline of the demand for its product this year compared to last year.
Although lawyer Darwin Mariano, Cemex Philippines public affairs director, declined to provide figures on the demand for their products in the market, he admitted that it is “lower” this year and it is not as much as last year.
One of the possible factors for the slowdown, he said, was the delay in the signing of the national budget, which also resulted to delay in national spending, especially for infrastructure.
President Arroyo signed last March the P1.227 trillion national budget for this year. It includes a P20 billion increase in the funds for roads and bridges and an additional P2 billion for school building projects.
“The biggest driver for the demand is public infrastructure spending, such as (for the building of) dams, roads and bridges.
Residential (units), on the other hand, do not contribute much to the demand,” Mariano told reporters during the mine and plant tour in Apo Cement Corp. in the City of Naga yesterday.
The tour was organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Mines and Geosciences Bureau as one of the activities in observance of the Philippine Environment Month.
Mariano also attributed the decrease in the demand to unpredictable weather and erratic rainfall as well as a slowdown in political activities since this is not an election year.
“There was much spending on infrastructure during the election last year,” he said.
To cope with rising operation expenses, with 60 percent to 70 percent of its production cost dependent on electricity, Cemex Philippines continues to manage its operation “efficiently” by being “environmentally compliant.”