Consumer groups have urged cement firms located in areas where retail prices have reached as high as P150 per bag to publish their prevailing rates as well as price commitment until June this year to promote transparency in their businesses. Consumer and Oil Price Watch Chairman Raul T. Concepcion has proposed this in the light of the continued rise in cement prices. He noted that prices in Metro Manila have gone up P125 per 50-kilogram bag of cement compared to previous prices of P117 to P120 per bag. "But, the biggest concern is that in areas such as Davao, Cebu, Pangasinan, Iligan, Bataan where a cement plant is located, prices of cement have gone up between P145 to P150 per bag," Concepcion said. According to Concepcion, the Cement Manufacturing Association of the Philippines has committed to peg the price at P125 per bag in the National Capital Region until June this year.
"If they can do it for NCR, why not in the region," he noted. However, had it not for P5 reduction in the P20.60 per bag additional duty on imported cement, prices could have been a lot higher. The Department of Trade and Industry is inclined to further reduce the punitive import duty by another P5 to temper the price increases and induce imports to enter the market.