CeMAP calls DTI attention on cement standards issue
All is not well among players in the cement industry with Cement Manufacturers of the Philippines (CeMAP) calling the attention of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to look into a potential standards compliance issue against Philcement Corporation.
In a letter to DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo, CeMAP Executive Director Cirilo Pestaño raised the “possible non-compliance of Philcement Corporation’s Union V Super Strength 40 Type 1P cement to Philippine National Standards (PNS) and Department Administrative Order (DAO) 17-06, or the new rules covering cement in the country.”
CeMAP said that Philcement Corporation is one of the companies engaged in cement importation, but alleged that the packaging on one of its products being sold in Pampanga carries the markings “Manufactured by Philcement Corporation” and “Product of the Philippines”.
“Was this product actually manufactured in the Philippines?” Pestano asked in his letter to Castelo, head of the DTI’s Consumer Protection Group. In its response to Pestano, DTI Director Neil Catajay of the Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS) said it will conduct proper verification on Philcement’s PS License Number, Batch Identification Number and Manufacturing Date so appropriate actions can be undertaken accordingly. Catajay also thanked CeMAP’s initiative in helping DTI in monitoring the market for possible violations, CEMAP said.
The CeMAP letter was dated January 28, 2020 yet but was only released today, Sept. 29, as the local cement and steel industries intensified its campaign on cement standards in the country.
“CeMAP is on guard against mislabeling of imported cement and passing it off as locally manufactured while PISI is on the lookout for substandard steel bars being sold in the market,” said CeMAP in a statement.
The groups said that local cement and steel industries have committed to provide adequate and quality supply for current and upcoming government infrastructure projects. This is amid the government’s renewed push to prioritize local construction materials for its Build Build Build program to help spur the country’s economic recovery, preserve jobs and contribute to the national income through taxes.
“The Philippine building materials industries, especially the cement industry, is confident and ready to ensure that our Philippine infrastructure projects will have adequate materials supply from companies that are proud to be manufacturing locally,” said Pestaño.
Philippine Iron and Steel Institute President Roberto Cola, for his part, assured that the steel industry will provide ongoing and upcoming government projects with the best quality of building materials, including Philippine steel.
The two associations are at the forefront in the battle against substandard and mislabeled construction materials, such as cement and steel bars.