PH cement, steel makers bat for more investments, expand local production

September 4, 2023

The Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (CMAP) and the Philippine Iron Steel Institute (PISI) are closely working with the government to attract both domestic and foreign investments in the two industries to expand local production at lower costs, and to increase their market share.

The two groups also renewed calls for the promotion of locally produced construction materials with the help of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) during DTI’s Konsyumer ATBP program in DZBB last Oct. 7 with CMAP President Reiner Dizon and PISI President Ronald Magsajo.

“Pag bumili kayo ng local, at kung may kaunting problema, o maaring wala, pero kung magkaroon ng problema, madaling habulin o tanungin yung manufacturer kasi nandito lang po sa Pilipinas. Ma-imagine niyo po kung may problema po ‘yong semento pero galing po ito sa ibang bansa, medyo komplikadong proseso po ‘yon. [If you buy locally and if there is a little problem, it’s easy to chase or ask the manufacturer because it’s here in the Philippines. Imagine if there is a problem with the cement but it comes from another country, it’s quite a complicated process,]” Dizon said.

In cement, Dizon emphasized that the country has enough supply and enough capacity to produce. CMAP estimated that the Philippines can produce 46 million tons in a year, with a demand between 35-36 million tons.

In addition, he said that the country is also importing cement products primarily from Vietnam.

Last year, seven million tons of cement arrived in the Philippines, while five to six million tons were expected this year.

Based on PISI’s study, Vietnam has a large cement production capacity of around 250 million tons but has only 40 to 50 million tons in market demand.

For his part, Magsajo said, “sa tulong din po ng DTI, ng BPS, masaya po kaming sabihin na mas mabuti pa nga pong bumili ng local ‘e. Kasi po ‘yong bakal natin ay gawa para sa kondisyon ng Pilipinas. [With the help of DTI and Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS), we are happy to say that it is better to buy local because our steel is made for the weather conditions in the Philippines.]”

Further, he stressed that patronizing local produce also benefits the economy and fellow Filipinos by creating a circular advantage where profits are shared amongst the community.

However, Magsajo admitted that the steel industry in the Philippines is not yet fully developed where companies import a lot of raw materials.

“Madami tayong produkto na hindi pa ginagawa dito, na hopefully in the future, magagawa din dito. Isang example din dito ‘yong mga H-beam, I-beam (steels). Lahat po ‘yan imported dahil wala pa pong local producer. [We have many products that have not yet been produced here, like H-beam and I-beam steels. It’s all imported because there are no local manufacturers in the Philippines yet,]” he said.

On the other hand, he noted that there are enough local supplies for the rebars.

As of this month, the country saw a record of $5.23 billion in imported iron and steel in 2022.

On average, the country is reaching combined flat and long-form product consumption of 10 million tons per year, according to Magsajo. He said that 70 percent of local steel bars are manufactured in Luzon.

Given the limited manufacturing capacity, Magsajo emphasized that the steel industry is working with the DTI to attract investments for setting up local steel manufacturing companies.

“Sa tulong din ng DTI, we are also hoping to attract local and foreign investments para pati ‘yong ibang produkto na hindi natin ginagawa fully ngayon ay maka-produce tayo dito para mapababa din natin ‘yong presyo. [With the help of DTI, we are also hoping to attract local and foreign investments so that other products that we don’t manufacture here in the Philippines can be produced here to lower the price,]” he added.

Dizon also assured the quality of the locally produced cement with the Philippine Standard (PS) Quality and Safety Mark, as required by the DTI.

“[If the bag of cement has a PS mark, this is proof that it has passed the examination and quality check,]” he added in the local language.

The same standardization is applied to the local steel products, according to Magsajo.

Meanwhile, DTI Assistant Secretary Mary Jean Pacheco said that DTI continues to promote local construction products to show consumers that local suppliers are providing them with standard quality products.

Pacheco assured that the DTI will strive to advocate standardized products to ensure safety and quality in using construction materials. (Ma. Joselie C. Garcia)


Recent News

Recent News