The Office of the President has issued an executive order modifying the rate of the import duty on natural gypsum and anhydrite, which are main raw materials in manufacturing plasterboards and cement used for construction.

Executive Order No. 46. dated November 3 and signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, stated that modifying the rate of import duty on natural gypsum and anhydrite will help revitalize and increase the competitiveness of the local plasterboard and cement industries.

It added that the modified rate of import duty will support the housing and infrastructure projects in the Philippines.

“At present, there are no operating mines of natural gypsum and anhydrite in the country, and there are also no local substitute for said products that are available for domestic producers of plasterboards and cement,” the executive order stated.

Under Republic Act No. 10863, or the “Customs Modernization and Tariff Act,” the President has the authority, in the interest of general welfare and national security and upon recommendation of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), to increase, reduce or remove existing rates of import duty.

Prior to the issuance of the EO, the NEDA Board has endorsed the reduction of the Most-Favored Nation (MFN) tariff rate on natural gypsum and anhydrite on September 21 of this year.

“The MFN tariff rate shall be subject to an annual review after 31 December 2024,” the EO stated.

“For this purpose, the NEDA shall submit to the President, through the Office of the Executive Secretary, its findings and recommendations on the matter, including analysis and monitoring of the gypsum and anhydrite market,” it added.

The EO shall take effect thirty days after its complete publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

It will also be in full force and effect for a period of five years from the date of effectivity. | PND

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