The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has decided to slash only P5 from the definitive safeguard duties imposed on all cement imports to P15.60 but has agreed to shorten the inspection period to facilitate the entry of imported cement to force local producers to bring down cement prices It currently takes importers 28 days to clear their cement shipments.
Trade Secretary Cesar Purisima told reporters, during the general membership meeting of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, that the DTI is contemplating on reducing the inspection period to seven to 14 days instead of the existing 28 days.
“We are not satisfied with the ability of the safeguard duties to reduce cement prices. Rather than touch that first, I would rather focus on the access to the market and see what happens,” he stressed.
He explained that the 28-day inspection period already discourages importers from bringing in imported cement into the country. The DTI chief said the agency would issue a department administrative order implementing the P5 reduction order by then-trade secretary Manuel Roxas II on the P20.60/bag definitive safeguard duties on all cement imports at the same time shortening the inspection period on imported cement.