THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recently issued public advisories warning against the proliferation of substandard construction materials, particularly cement and galvanized iron sheets.
The agency is reminding buyers to purchase only those bearing the Philippine Standard (PS) or Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) marks, which mean these are safe and reliable for use.
“DTI advises consumers to purchase only construction materials which are approved by the Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS) to ensure the safety of products and to avoid untoward incidents,” the trade agency said.
DTI Cebu Consumer Welfare Development Chief Zaide Bation said her office recently received two phone-in reports on substandard steel bars. But the official later on clarified that the steel bars in question were inspected complied with the standards requirements.
“We checked the steel bars. There was just a mix-up with metric sizes,” Bation told Sun.Star Cebu in a text message.
She said that there are cases where orders are made in inches but these are unavailable in the market because the measurements used are the metric sizes.
DTI-BPS requires manufacturers of construction materials to undergo government tests and inspections to ensure quality.
Only manufacturers and importers with the PS license or ICC certificate are authorized to distribute and sell construction materials with printed PS mark or the ICC sticker affixed on their products.
DTI said these required labels convey to the consumers that the products have passed the safety and performance tests. In addition, the labels will guide them in distinguishing reliable and safe goods from uncertified ones, which could be “inferior” or “substandard.”
Bation encouraged anyone suspecting they bought substandard construction materials to report it to DTI Cebu.
DTI-BPS conducts intensive enforcement operations nationwide, in support of the regular market monitoring activities of the regional and provincial offices, to check conformance of manufacturers and importers to the requirements of the relevant standard and other related-trade laws.
On Oct. 13, Bation said she will meet with hardware store owners to discuss product standard requirements for construction materials. “(We will also remind) hardware stores not to sell substandard products,” Bation added.