15% Hike Seen in Prices of Ceramic Floor, Wall Tiles
Prices of ceramic floor and wall tiles are expected to rise by as much as 15 percent on cheaper tiles but lower on high-end products with the imposition of safeguard duty on the importation of these construction materials, according to a consumer group.
In a position paper submitted to the Tariff Commission, Laban Konsyumer, Inc. (LKI) noted that consumers will bear the brunt of higher prices, especially on the low-end ceramic floor and wall tiles, due to the imposition of safeguard duty amid a strong construction boom in the country.
The Commission is currently trying to determine whether or not there is basis of the Department of Trade and Industry’s implementation of the P3 per per kilogram provisional safeguard duty on imported floor and wall tiles with 0.5 percent to 6 percent water absorption. If the Commission affirms the DTI decision that, indeed, there has been a surge in importation that caused serious injury to the domestic industry, the provisional safeguard duty becomes permanent.
“From the point of view of the consumers, any amount of safeguard duty is an added burden to the cost of goods sold. The safeguard duty partakes of the nature of additional tax on top of the internal revenue taxes on the cost of goods sold,” said LKI President Victorio Mario Dimagiba.
Based on preliminary computation, LKI said the impact on prices of cheaper tiles of P3.00/kg can be anywhere of an increase of 15 percent per piece.This may translate to 13.5 percent increase in the price per piece of 20×20 wall tile and 14.1 percent for 20×20 floor tile. The 30x 30 wall tile is also expected to increase by 13.5 percent and the 60×60 by 14.4 percent price hike.
In contrast, LKI said the safeguard duty impact on high-end tiles would be a lot less than the cheap tiles. For instance, LKI said the Made in Spain ceramic tiles consisting of 9 pieces in a box with total weight of 19.4 kgs costs P1,827.00 per box or P203.00 per piece would have an equivalent increase of P58.20 per box or P6.46 per piece that may be added to the retail price. “The increase per box is 3.18 percent or 1.56 percent per piece, much lower than cheaper tiles,” Dimagiba said.
“It appears from these random and sample prices that the Commission should look into the reasonableness of a uniform pesos per kilo safeguard duty on tiles, without considering different classes as well as uses and users of the product, including its impact on the costs of socialized and lower bracket housing projects,” LKI further noted.
FROM MANILA BULLETIN