Philippines: Cement producers say that if the government does not implement a permanent safeguard duty on cement imports they may reconsider investment plans to upgrade their plants. Representatives of Taiheyo Cement, Republic Cement, Holcim and Cemex made the comments at public hearings by the Tariff Commission, according to the Philippine Star newspaper. The commission is conducting an investigation to determine whether the provisional safeguard duty imposed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on cement imports should be kept.
During the hearings, Cirilo Pestaño II the executive director of the Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (CEMAP), lobbied the government to impose a higher ‘definitive’ safeguard duty. He said that imports of cement rose by 64% year-on-year to 1.74Mt in the first quarter of 2019 from 1.06Mt in the same period in 2018 despite the provisional safeguard measure being in place.