The government may further reduce the duty on imported cement following the recent rise in prices of local cement, Trade and Industry Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. said.
He said the Department of Trade and Industry had required the Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (CMAP) to justify the price increases.
If the department finds the increases unjustifiable, it "will be forced to reduce safeguard duty," Cristobal said.
The government lowered the tariff in March by 5.00 pesos from 20.50 per 40kg bag. This rate was supposed to last until yearend.
Last week cement prices rose by six percent to 122 pesos per 40kg bag from 115 pesos in January.
CMAP president Enrico Alfiler said the price increase reflected the real cost of cement production, in particular higher electricity costs