Aquino seeks probe on sale of substandard steel products

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Thursday, March 20, 2014


SENATOR Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV is seeking an investigation into the alleged proliferation of substandard steel products, which he said contributed to the death of hundreds of people in the magnitude 7.2 earthquake in the Visayas last year.

"Hundreds of lives were lost because of substandard and inferior steel products used in houses and other infrastructure," Aquino, chairperson of the Senate committee on trade, commerce and entrepreneurship, said.

"During my visit (in Visayas), I saw two houses just several meters apart. One was completely destroyed and the other was still standing after the earthquake," he noted.

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According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the October earthquake killed 222 individuals, 209 of which are from the province of Bohol.

Aquino cited a report by the Philippine Iron and Steel Institute (PISI), which visited Bohol and Cebu following the aftermath of the earthquake, stating that there was widespread use of substandard bars and angle bars in the construction of residential houses and public structures, such as, public markets and bridges.

In Resolution 564, Aquino said that instead of posing grave threat to Filipino lives, steel production should significantly contribute to public safety in times of disaster.

"Selling substandard steel is a question of greed and a question of corruption. That's why we need to investigate this before we lose hundreds of life to another earthquake or devastation, God forbid," Aquino said. (Sunnex)

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