Local cement manufacturers are bullish and fully supportive of government’s Build, Build, Build programs. In a recent letter, CeMAP informed DTI that the domestic cement industry currently has an installed and operating capacity of 34.5 million tons or about 862 million bags of cement annually. On top of the current installed running capacity, there are also a number of cement capacity expansion projects by various players that will be completed this year and in the next few years.
“In addressing the supply needs in the event that Safeguard Measures are implemented, the local cement industry shall ensure that there will be adequate cement supply in the country”, according to Cirilo Pestano, Executive Director of CeMAP.
The cement industry has also been dealing with challenges brought about by the recent surge of imported cement viewed as injurious to the local industry, prompting DTI to intervene and investigate.
In the past five years, the volume of cement imports entering the Philippines grew exponentially, soaring from just 3,558 metric tons in 2013, to as much as 4.8 million metric tons for the first three quarters of 2018. This is owed to an overcapacity of cement in the region. And this despite the Philippine cement industry’s capability to fully serve supply demands.
In spite of the challenging business environment, CeMAP remains bullish on the growth prospects of the industry and expects the employment of some 400,000 Filipinos, directly or indirectly, by 2030 as a result of the projected labor requirement coming from various capacity expansion programs of both existing and new cement manufacturers.
In the short- to medium-term, incumbent cement manufacturers are projecting up to 17 million tons in added capacity, which can translate to more than 110,000 jobs. Pestano says, “The figure does not include those of the new players yet. If everyone is accounted for and if all new plants materialize as announced, we will see more jobs created across the value chain.”