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DTI assures safety of cement, steel

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THE Department of Trade and Industry said Tuesday it actively monitors the market for substandard cement and steel products to enforce the product norms set by its Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS).

In a statement Monday, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said that only “quality goods are being sold to the public” due to monitoring conducted by its Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) in various establishments.

The DTI was addressing, among others, concerns about shoddy construction materials in the wake of the earthquake that hit Luzon on Monday and Samar Island yesterday.

“Finding no non-conforming products in the establishments that we monitor means that quality goods are being sold to the public,” he said.

“DTI’s heightened presence in the market sends a strong message to both consumers and business that we are serious in our campaign against uncertified and substandard materials,” he said.

In the year to date, the FTEB has confiscated P7 million worth of steel products — including 35,112 pieces of steel bars, equal-leg angle bars, uPVC pipes, G.I. wires, and electrical cords.

The DTI issued a total of 138 notices of violation (NoV) to some of the 1,173 establishments monitored.

Of the total number of NoVs, 118 resulted in the filing of administrative cases, Mr. Lopez added.

Mr. Lopez warned that repeated violations by individual establishments would result in the revocation of licenses and permits to operate, as well as criminal charges.

“Protection of consumers is our utmost priority and we remain steadfast in our commitment,” he said.

The DTI has started to accredit hardware stores that sell only certified products. It also started compiling a list of compliant and non-compliant hardware stores, which will be made available to the public. — Janina C. Lim

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