MANILA— Some three cement manufacturers are willing to undergo the same inspection procedures required for importers to pacify a running feud between cement producers and importers.
In a letter to Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez, Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (CeMAP) president Ernesto Ordoñez reiterated the position of Cement Philippines, Inc. (Taiheiyo), CEMEX Holdings Philippines, Inc. (Cemex), and Cement Group (Republic) to waive their exemptions from inspection procedures despite the different treatment for local manufacturers under DTI’s Department Administrative Orders 17-02 and 17-05.
“[Instead], they are willing to go through the same import procedures that the traders undergo. This is to contribute harmony in promoting consumer welfare,” Ordoñez said.
However, he clarified that the decision of the three cement producers did not reflect as “official position” of CeMAP.
“Holcim was not able to give a position in time for the Aug. 18 deadline. CeMAP cannot take an official position until there is unanimity,” the CeMAP chief noted.
Moreover, the three cement manufacturers highlighted the need for local testing and not relying only to pre-shipment quality inspection (PSQI).
They noted that quality deterioration is possible on imported cement due to exposure to moisture, sea water, and rain during transport.
The three companies said the sampling and testing shall be conducted on a per shipment, per Bill of Lading, per type, per brands basis in the Philippines, either from the port of entry area, importers’ declared warehouse, or silo.
They added that the test results should ensure conformity to Philippine National Standards prior to the cement’s release in the local market.
“I emphasize here that though they are allowed to be treated differently because of their lower risk category consistent to the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, and even if it is the DTI position, signed by you in DAO 17-02 and DAO 17-05 which is completely justified, the three companies are very willing to forego this justified treatment,” Ordoñez told Lopez.