By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
The Tariff Commission slapped a higher definitive safeguard measure of P297 per metric ton or P12 per 40 kilogram bag on imported cement to protect local manufacturers from the surge of this critical construction material which it said has caused serious injury to the domestic industry based on its final determination.
The definitive safeguard measure in the form of a specific duty will be applied for a period of three years from the effectivity of the provisional
In coming up with the specific duty, which P3.60 higher than the P8.40 per bag provisional safeguard measure imposed by the Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry, the Commission said this was based on the difference between the weighted average landed cost of imported cement (P3,578 per MT) and the average domestic ex-plant selling price (P3,875) of the local cement industry during the period covered in the investigation.
The Commission believes that this level of safeguard may prevent the occurrence of serious injury to the domestic cement industry and will facilitate said industry’s adjustment to the adverse effects of increasing imports.
Consumer advocate and Laban Konsyumer Inc. President Atty. Victorio Mario Dimagiba said consumers should benefit from a lower local cement versus imported cement following the imposition of the definitive safeguard measure.