THE recently imposed duties on high-density polyethylene (HDPE) imports will protect the local petrochemical industry from cheap foreign resins entering the country, according to JG Summit Olefins Corp. (JGSOC).

On Wednesday, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) ordered the imposition of safeguard duties on imports of HDPE pellets and granules for three years.

“This decision shows the support of the government for the local manufacturing industries to ensure long-term viability especially in these challenging times,” JGSOC President and Chief Executive Patrick Henry C. Go said in a statement.

The firm said that the move will contribute to the new administration’s drive of ensuring the country’s long-term economic recovery.

“HDPE is a strong, multipurpose resin, used in consumer and industrial goods, such as tanks, pipes, industrial packaging, containers, bottles, healthcare articles, toys, tapes, films, and fibers,” JGSOC said.

The domestic petrochemical industry is expected to enhance its international competitiveness in the three years, it said, citing a report by the Tariff Commission.

“This includes having adjusted its selling prices to absorb production costs and operating expenses and generate reasonable margins,” it said.

“With improved price competitiveness, the domestic HDPE industry will remain a reliable partner in the National Government’s development agenda,” it added.

The temporary safeguard measure will also allow HDPE manufacturing plants to be more environmentally friendly, cost-efficient, and technologically advanced.

“The DTI’s affirmation will certainly help the local petrochemicals manufacturing sector work towards becoming globally competitive and achieve business sustainability. Ultimately, the rest of the economy will benefit from this in the long run,” Executive Director of the Association of Petrochemical Manufacturers of the Philippines Homer Maranan said. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson