DTI to look into higher prices of cement

Posted at 02/06/14 4:27 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is looking into reports of an increase in the price of cement in Luzon.

Victorio Dimagiba, officer-in-charge of DTI-Consumer Protection Group, said monitoring teams in the provinces have been mobilized to check on the prices of cement in the market.

"Our monitoring teams in all provinces and regions have been notified to conduct daily monitoring activities over the next two weeks on prices of cement bags, to which we’ll accordingly issue show cause orders, if necessary, to retailers, manufacturers, importers and distributors of cement and let them explain why the sudden increase in their prices," he said.

He noted that Eagle Cement advised DTI that there is no adjustment in the prices of their cement products.

Based on DTI's regular monitoring activities, Dimagiba said there is enough supply of cement and there is no reason for higher prices.

"Meanwhile, the prevailing price range of cement bags in the National Capital Region (NCR) remains at P215 – P220," he said.

"The DTI is strict on taking measures against unwarranted price increases and we appeal especially to these cement companies to be assisting instead for the welfare of the consumers."

The DTI warned retailers, manufacturers, importers, and distributors of basic necessities and prime commodities that any act of price manipulation – profiteering, hoarding and cartel – has a penalty of imprisonment for a period of not less than five years nor more than 15 years; or a fine of not less than P5,000 nor more than P2,000,000.00 according to the Price Act.

To report complaints on price and supply of cement, call DTI Direct 751.3330 or 0917.8343330, from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.