November 19, 2018
APO Cement is raising the price of its cement products by P10 per bag in Cebu and other parts of Visayas, citing the suspension of its main supplier after the landslide in Cebu months ago.
In a statement on Sunday, the company said its production costs have “suddenly gone up,” causing a significant impact on its operations.
Its main supplier of raw materials, APO Land & Quarry Corporation (ALQC), was suspended as part of a temporary ban on quarrying operations in the country.
APO Cement accounts for 20 percent of clinker production and 60 percent of Cemex Philippines’ total volume in the country where at least 275,000 bags are produced per day. Clinker is used to manufacture cement.
“APO Cement continues to adopt measures to cope with the challenges of not having equitable sources of raw materials to produce cement,” the company said.
“APO is announcing a P10 increase per bag in its cement products in Cebu and other areas in the Visayas region starting Monday, November 19, 2018,” it added.
The temporary ban marked the aftermath of a landslide in Naga City that buried both civilians and workers of a quarrying site in September.
While the ban was lifted for most of the quarry players, the suspension on ALQC — whose operations are reportedly close to the landslide — remained.
The impact of the ban on the company’s business did not only translate to higher production costs, but it was also felt hundreds of workers who will be laid off early next month.
According to media reports, the company will lay off 30 percent of its regular employees and 40 percent of its contractual workers.
Senator Joel Villanueva estimates this number to be around 400 workers, as he appealed to the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Natural Resources to prevent the massive layoff.
READ: Villanueva urges swift action on layoff of 400 Apo Cement workers.
In a statement, the company claimed that expert geologists from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB) have officially concluded that as a natural phenomenon.