Higher Cement Prices Won't Hinder Infra

Manila Bulletin, November 22, 2008 | Go to article overview

Higher Cement Prices Won't Hinder Infra


Cement manufacturers said the increase in cement prices will not hinder infrastructure development in the country stressing that the 14.3 percent price hike for the National Capital Region translates to less than three percent only of the total cost of an infrastructure project.

This was pointed out by Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (CeMAP) president Ernesto M. Ordonez during a hearing by the House committee on trade and industry probing on the alleged cartel-like operations of local cement manufacturers.

Last Wednesday, Malacanang lifted the import duty on cement and cement clinker for a period of six months to counter the high prices of local cement and allowing market competition through imports.

Ordonez said that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) price monitoring showed that cement firms hiked prices in the NCR by only 14.3 from P175 per 40-kilogram bag to P200 per bag this year. Retail prices, however, reached as high as over P220 per bag in the NCR.

Comparatively, increases in major inputs in cement manufacturing like coal which increased by 85 percent and others 11.2 percent translated to 22.3 percent of the cost impact of cement firms.

Coal accounts for 25 percent of total production cost while power accounts for 15 percent.

This means, Ordonez said that cement firms have unrecovered 12. …

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