The Philippines: Iloilo infrastructure projects run out of cement

The Philippines: Iloilo infrastructure projects run out of cement
Published: 11 July 2014

Tagged Under: Philippines 

Shipment delays as well as simultaneous infrastructure projects in Iloilo and other provinces have led to a shortage of cement in Western Visayas, Philippines.

Wilhelm M Malones, acting director of the Department of Trade and Industry in Western Visayas, said the shortage is due to delays in shipping of cement and the rush to complete major infrastructure projects in Iloilo City. “It may have started when a contractor of a major project in the city ordered 5000 bags of cement from a manufacturer. We had to facilitate the order because President Benigno S C Aquino III was to inaugurate the project,” Mr Malones said. “This concern is more on the speed of transporting supply.”

The national government is implementing major projects in the city and Iloilo such as the PHP2.1bn (US$842m) Iloilo ring road, the PHP700m (US$160.6m) Iloilo Convention Center, the PHP500m Senator Benigno Aquino Jr Avenue (Diversion Road widening) and the PHP170m Iloilo River NHA Subdivision Phase I in Barangays Camalig and Lanit Jaro.

Private sector projects include the PHP35bn Iloilo Business Park of Megaworld Corp,  PHP15bn Atria Park District of Ayala Land Inc,  Iloilo City Center of the Gaisano Group and residential projects of Double Dragon Properties Corp.

Edilberto D Tayao, DPWH regional director, said he met with officials of a cement manufacturer to urge them to hasten shipment of more stocks to Western Visayas. “Otherwise, we cannot complete on time the pending infrastructure projects that we are currently implementing,” Mr. Tayao said. “Compared to other regions, construction works are more in Western Visayas. So the distribution (of cement) here should also be more,” he added.

Construction firms said the demand is particularly high for Portland Type 1 cement, most commonly used in government projects and major infrastructure works due to its quick-drying quality. The surge in demand for Portland has also jacked up prices. A P42kg bag ranges from PHP232 (US$5.3) to PHP254 (US$5.8), compared to PHP220-222 last year. Premium cement also increased to P230-245 per bag.

Citing a monitoring report, Mr Malones said prices of several cement brands increased while other brands remained stable. “One brand increased its price for a 40kg bag of cement from PHP230 to PHP235. Another brand raised its price from PHP230 to PHP231. But others remained steady at PHP234. Compared to our monitoring last year, the average increase is between 0.9 and 4.91 per cent,” he said.