RESIDENTS of Davao City and adjoining areas are cautioned against buying steel angle bars without checking for product standard certification after some P1.25-million worth of uncertified angle bars "sealed" by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) were reported missing.

As a result, the hardware from which the bars were found will be made to pay the total value of the missing bars on top of a fine of P37,500.

Post your reaction to the Manila hostage crisis

Based on a report by DTI Davao City Director Teolulo T. Pasawa to DTI-Davao Region Director Marizon S. Loreto, a total 708 pieces of the uncertified and unsafe six millimeter (mm) by 100mm by 100mm by 6 meter equal leg steel angle bars were sealed by a monitoring team at the Davao Goldstar Hardware Inc. warehouse last August 19.

In a follow-up inspection, the uncertified angle bars were missing. The person in-charge of the warehouse told authorities that the impounded bars were pulled out by Jack Ross Marketing Corp. of Panacan, Davao City, which turned out to be a non-existent firm based on certifications issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For unexplained reasons the questionable angle bars were allowed to leave the warehouse despite specific instructions in the Certificate of Orderly Conduct of Inventory and the Preliminary Order issued by the DTI Adjudication Office.

DTI consequently ordered Davao Goldstar Hardware Inc. to pay P1.259 million, the equivalent value of the impounded uncertified angle bars that disappeared, and an administrative fine of P37,500.

Ma. Victoria C. Padilla, executive director of the Philippine Product Safety and Quality Foundation Inc. (PPSQF), said they suspect that the uncertified angle bars are now being sold in the market. She said the steel products did not pass the required product testing by the DTI.

"This type of angle bars can be used for billboards and as roofing trusses. We, therefore, urge business establishments and consumers in Davao to make sure they will not buy these uncertified angle bars because of the risk they pose to lives and properties," Padilla said.

She said the PPSQF and the DTI's regional and provincial offices will continue to monitor the different hardware stores in Davao to locate the missing unsafe angle bars, as well as watch out for other substandard steel bars that are now being sold in the market.

"We commend the efforts of the monitoring team under Directors Pasawa and Loreto for not letting up in the campaign against substandard steel angle bars. We hope our partnership will prevent the proliferation of substandard angle bars in the province," Padilla added. (PR)