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 Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)

DTI imposes P10 safeguard duty on imported cement

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Imported cement will become more expensive after the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) decided to impose a definitive safeguard duty of P250 per metric ton or P10 per 40-kilogram bag on the foreign shipments of cement this year.

DTI said it is in the public interest to impose the definitive safeguard measure as the agency is mandated by Republic Act No. 8800 (The Safeguard Measures Act) to protect the domestic industry from serious injury caused by a surge in imports.

Pursuant to Section 18 of RA 8800, the amount of safeguard duty will be reduced to P9 per 40kg bag for the second year and to P8 per 40kg bag for the third year. A yearly review will be conducted to determine the appropriateness of the safeguard duty, it said.

The Tariff Commission earlier recommended the application of a definitive general safeguard measure of P297 per MT or P12 per 40kg bag on imported cement to prevent the occurrence of the threat of serious injury.

TC also recommended that the definitive safeguard measure be applied for a period of three years, starting from the date that the provisional measures took effect in accordance with Rule 8.7 of the IRRs of RA No. 8800.

DTI said it took into account public interest in the decision whether to impose safeguard measures and considered other factors that will assist the local industry and will benefit the consumers and end users.

The safeguard level aims to minimize the impact to prices for buyers and users while addressing the industry injury issue, while still encouraging local manufacturers to continuously pursue efficiencies to be more globally competitive.

DTI said while it is mandated to protect consumers, there is a need to balance this taking into account other sectors such as investors and industry which provide employment to Filipinos.

“There is also a need to moderate imports to balance trade. If local manufacturers can adequately supply domestic requirements, they need to be provided a level playing field to enable them to compete with imports. This will allow expansion of the country’s manufacturing base and generate more jobs for Filipinos,” it said.

“Further, users of cement retain their option to choose between the local and imported cement since imports will still be allowed. The imposition of a safeguard measure is not expected to cause a shortage of cement in the domestic market considering that the cement manufacturers have sufficient capacity to meet domestic demand,” the agency said.

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