Steelmakers to ramp up output

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    Steel manufacturers which have suffered a 50 percent decline in demand due to the pandemic are readying to ramp up capacity following government’s move to prioritize locally-made construction materials for its infrastructure program.

    A joint statement of the Philippine Iron and Steel Institute (PISI) and the Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (CeMAP) said they support the prioritization of local products and construction materials for infrastructure projects, as provided for in the recently signed Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2.

    PISI president Roberto Cola said the group is gearing up to produce 40,000 to 50,000 metric tons (MT) more of steel products per month to support the expected surge in demand.

    That is, if no stricter lockdowns are imposed.

    Cola said demand for steel has gone down to 400,000 MT per month.

    “Bayanihan 2 will help boost consumer confidence that will eventually impact on residential construction,” Cola said.

    PISI and Cemap said with the use of local building materials such as cement and steel for the ongoing Build Build Build program of the government, the industries can help fully support the nation’s economic recovery by continuing to preserving jobs, contributing to the national income through taxes, and ensuring the multiplier effect of supporting local businesses is fully taken advantage of.

    Cemap and PISI added since the beginning of the new coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic in March, their members have ensured continued operations in the construction materials industries while ensuring the health and safety of employees, thereby preserving as many jobs as possible.