About 30,000 of the 118,000 bags of low-grade cement imported from China have been sold here and in nearby General Santos City, a Trade official said during the weekend.
Cement prices in the area range from P160 to P180 per bag and earlier reports noted that the China-made cement was sold at big discount or as low P120 per bag.
Marizon Loreto, the Trade department’s assistant regional director, said that an inventory of the stocks of Philman Marketing Corp. showed that a large quantity of cement was missing at the Manila-based trading firm’s warehouse in Sasa.
The cement bags have found their way to small construction sites in the city and in General Santos City, she added.
Robert Barlis, the region’s Trade field services division chief, said the new finding will be used to strengthen the case that the agency was building against the importer.
"We are gathering all these pieces of evidence so we will have a strong case when we file our complaint," he told BusinessWorld.
He said although the trading was allowed to store the imported cement in its warehouse, it was not allowed to sell the product because it failed to secure regulatory clearance.