Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
The Philippine Iron and Steel Institute reported a marked decline in the number of hardware stores selling uncertified and substandard steel products in the wake of the enforcement activities launched by the Department of Trade and Industry.
PISI noticed an improvement in compliance as the number of stores that had violations in their monitoring activities was seen dropping from more than 40 percent in 2018 to 25 percent as of end-July after the DTI crackdown on substandard steel products.
PISI president Roberto Cola warned that the 25 percent figure of stores that continue to sell steel products that pose dangers to people’s lives is still worrisome. “That’s still a lot of substandard steel out there. Thus, we support the DTI in its monitoring and enforcement activities until we have fully eradicated substandard products in the market,” Cola said.
The DTI had earlier fined 34 hardware and business establishments with penalties totaling P1.8 million for alleged sales of uncertified and substandard construction materials in NCR and Luzon. The monitoring and enforcement operations by the DTI-Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau have also led to the confiscation of P17 million worth of uncertified and substandard construction materials in the first eight months of the year.
PISI noted that their monitoring operations showed that nearly all substandard steel products that were tested came from manufacturing plants using induction furnace equipment. According to Cola, “Use of induction furnace to produce construction grade steel has been banned by several countries, including China, due the poor and inconsistent quality of its output.” Aside from the dangers of substandard steel in construction, he also pointed out the possible public health and environmental consequences associated with the operation of outdated induction furnace plants.
The crackdown against substandard and uncertified construction materials and its initial results emphasizes the importance of government monitoring and enforcement to prevent such hidden dangers from threatening the lives of Filipinos. The effort of the PISI and DTI to eliminate these questionable construction materials from the market should result in stronger and better homes and infrastructure for Filipinos.*