The Cement Manufacturing Association of the Philippines (CeMAP) said that had it not requested the continued imposition of safeguard duty against imported cement, prices would have reached P160 per bag due to soaring production costs, particularly coal.
This developed as the latest price monitoring of the Department of Trade and Industry showed that prices of cement now averages P150 to P155 nationwide.
But Rene Sunico, chairman of Fortune Cement told the Tariff Commission hearing that comparatively, landed cost of imported cement without safeguards tariffs would be R160 per bag.
The Philippine Constructors Association (PCA) even cited the local cement makers for being able to keep prices table while expressing concern over uncontrolled and abnormal surges in the price of coal.
PCA executive director Lito Madrasto said that since stable prices is a concern shared by both contractors and the cement industry, the PCA is also trying to help out in finding external sources of more reasonably priced coal.
During the Tariff Commission hearing the petition of CeMAP for a three-year extension of the safeguard duty against imported cement, CeMAP president Felix Enrico R. Alfiler called attention to the alarming costs of production.
"New and alarming developments such as increase in power costs and the dramatic increase in world prices of inputs such as coal and fuel are one of the reasons that necessitates continued imposition of safeguards, Alveolar said.