Cebu, Philippines: Due to the increases in fuel prices, the cost of construction materials, including cement and steel bars, has also gone up. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the prices of cement went up by 5.63 percent due to adjustments in oil prices. Costs of steel bars have also gone up by 13 percent because of two reasons-strong demand in China and because of the fuel price increases, said Asteria Caberte, DTI director for Central Visayas. Caberte said that based on their monitoring, the price of cement went up from P142 per bag in May to P150 last week, or an increase of P8 per bag. Cement is more expensive in Bohol where the increase went up to P160 per bag, or an increase of 7 percent, due to adjustments in transportation cost, she said. Caberte said increases in fuel products affected the prices of cement because the fuel component in cement production was about 36 percent.
When asked if high demand was a factor for the increase, she replied: "Remember, it’s rainy season now, there is even less number of construction work so therefore the demand is not high," Caberte said.