Cement producers appeal SC decision

Cement producers appeal SC decision
Published: 06 September 2005

The Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines has asked the Supreme Court to look into its final decision last month declaring the safeguard measures against imported gray Portland cement illegal.

Last Aug. 3, the SC affirmed with finality its previous decision voiding the provisional measure of P20.60 per 40 kg bag that the Department of Trade and Industry imposed on imported gray Portland cement for three years, starting November 7, 2001.

In its ruling, the high court said the DTI secretary cannot impose safeguard measures if the Tariff Commission did not find factual basis to slap such sanctions against an imported product. Specifically, the high court cited Section 5 of the SMA providing that "the secretary shall apply a general safeguard measure upon a positive final determination of the [Tariff] Commission" that importation of a product is hurting the local industry."

In a 33-page motion for reconsideration, CMAP said the SC "erred in its reading of Section 5," saying the element of indispensability (of the finding of Tariff Commission) was not in the law.

"...A proper reading of the SMA (Republic Act 8800, or the Safeguard Measures Act) yield the conclusion that the DTI secretary was intended by Congress to be authorized to impose safeguards despite the negative finding of the (Tariff) Commission," CMAP added.

A second motion for reconsideration -- or one made after a final ruling -- is a prohibited pleading, so the CMAP requested the court, through an attached motion for leave, to admit and reconsider its pleading.