Cement firms ask PCC for fair probe

A group of cement manufacturers on Thursday described as unfair the Philippine Competition Commission’s investigation of price-fixing in the local cement industry.

“Fairness requires that both sides are heard. Not only were we not given a chance to be heard. More than a month after our letter to PCC asking for what the complaint is about so we could give our side, we still have no reply from PCC,” Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines president Ernesto Ordoñez said.

“We just found out about the nature of the complaint through the newspapers. This is one-sided and unfair, especially considering the track records of the subjects of the complaint,” he said.

Ordoñez quoted a letter to the commission by the law firm Cruz, Marcelo and Tenefrancia.

“With regards to the alleged complaint of CeMAP, please note that CeMAP has not been furnished a copy of the complaint and is not notified of the allegations against it. CeMAP looks forward to receiving the complaint so it can be given the opportunity to answer the allegations against it,” he said.

Ordoñez said the commission received the letter at 4:15 p.m. on Jan. 26, 2017 but failed to reply.

The PCC said in a statement that after conducting a preliminary investigation, it found reasonable grounds to proceed to a “full administrative investigation.”

Victorio Mario Dimagiba, a former Trade undersecretary and now president of Laban Konsyumer Inc., alleged in his affidavit-complaint filed with the PCC that the respondents―Cement  Manufacturers Association president Ernesto Ordoñez, LaFarge Holcim Philippines Inc. and Republic Cement and Building Materials Inc.―engaged in price manipulation.

Topics: Cement firms , Philippine Competition Commission , PCC , price-fixing , Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines , CeMAP
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