THE ADMINISTRATION said it has reduced import tariffs to zero on two raw minerals used in the manufacture of building materials such as cement and plasterboard. 

Natural gypsum and anhydrite were formerly charged a 3% tariff, which was reduced to zero by Executive Order (EO) No. 46.

EO 46 said there are currently no domestic sources for the two minerals in the absence of operating mines  dedicated to their extraction.

EO 46 was signed by Executive Secretary Lucas P. Bersamin on Nov. 3 but released on Monday. 

“(T)here are also no local substitutes for said products that are available to domestic producers of plasterboard and cement,” it said.

The Palace said the move will “help revitalize and increase the competitiveness of the plasterboard and cement industries.”

The order also provides relief to housing and infrastructure projects in the Philippines, it added.

The order takes effect 30 days after its publication in the Official Gazette and will be in effect for five years.

The zero-tariff setting will be subject to annual review after Dec. 31, 2024.
The National Economic and Development Authority had recommended the tariff reduction in September. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza