Cement importation sought, Philippines

Cement importation sought, Philippines
Published: 16 April 2007

Since there is no more local cement industry to speak of, Councilor Peter Laviña is pushing for the importation of cement to help increase supply and lower its prices.

In an email, Laviña said the cement industry in the country is now in the hands of foreign companies like Holcim, Lafarge and Cemex and as such there is no local cement industry to protect from foreign competition.

He said cement prices are priced at P170 to P180 per 40-kilo bags in hardware stores, thus the government should allow importation to fight the cement cartel to benefit consumers.

Laviña said cement prices in the Philippines are the highest in Asia.

"We are buying cement at $72 per ton compared to while cement costs only $35 per ton in China, $55 in Vietnam and $65 in Thailand," he said.

Lavina said stabilizing cement supply and lowering its price would benefit the housing and construction industry, and the government, which has many infrastructure projects.