THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has monitored a P10-increase in the price of cement in Davao City despite threats from Trade Secretary Peter Favila of controlling the construction commodity's cost.

Based on the monitoring report of the trade department for the week of January 11 to 15, Holcim brand of cement was being sold at a prevailing price of P212, P10 higher compared to the P202 prevailing price of the same brand exactly a week before.

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The monitoring report also showed that the price of the cement brand has not moved since three months ago. Compared to its prevailing price in the market a year ago, only a P2 difference has been recorded as it was being sold at P201.

Early last week, the DTI announced that it was mulling the imposition of a price control should traders and manufacturers continue to create a supply shortage and overpricing, taking into consideration the instability of supply and skyrocketing prices of cement in Luzon and Visayas.

Favila said strong measures will be implemented by the trade department if cement will not behave properly in the market.

The suggested retail price of a 40-kilogram cement is P205, which was pegged during the period of the Ondoy disaster. However, during the market visits of the DTI, the price of cement was at record high of P270 per bag in Metro Manila.

Meanwhile, cement manufacturers throughout the country have reported that all plants are running and producing ample amount of cement and that there should be no problem with supply.

Nonetheless, Favila has sent letters to the three cement factories asking why there is a shortage in the market and why cement is overpriced at the retail level.

"We are asking them to submit to us official receipts of cement pick-ups from their plants and its price, as well as delivery receipts," Favila said.