News - 022720_SPCH_SRML

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is committed to ensure safe and disaster-resilient communities while enhancing the country’s readiness against earthquakes. In fulfilment of the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2019-01, DTI is closely working with the Departments of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in a whole-of-government approach to achieve this goal.

DTI’s Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS) imposes compliance to the Philippine National Standards (PNS) for the assessment of the structural integrity of buildings and infrastructure that are available and aligned with international standards. The standards for critical construction materials such as steel, cement, and concrete have also been developed and reviewed periodically.

We even made the procedures stricter in testing standard compliance. For example, we have adjusted the sampling. Before, when an importer imports steel products, whether it’s 5,000 MT or 2,000 MT, only 3 pieces ang kinukuha. So, we researched on ISO on what would be the ideal sampling size, per amount of importation.

We came up with a matrix that increases the number of samples. For example, for 20,000 MT they only expect 3 pieces. But according to ISO formula, we have to do 50 pieces. Mas marami tayong tine-test, to increase the accuracy of our test.

We have also done several testings for the factory side. The pre-shipment and post-shipment area. So, halos tatlong testing points ang ginagawa. Dati ‘yun, isa lang. Compliance of these materials to product standards plays a great role in the integrity of structures and other works.

As such, DTI collaborates with DILG and the PNP in directing local offices to conduct surprise inspections on suppliers, wholesalers, and retailers of construction materials. This is also where we would like to strengthen our partnership with the PNP and the CIDG when it comes to the requirements for greater intelligence work, so that we will be able to trace the sources of substandard materials that are sold at the hardware or retailer points.

We would have to trace the sources, the distributors, warehouses, as well as the source of the manufacturers. To guarantee that substandard materials are kept out of the market, those who fail to comply with requirements can face payment of penalties, revocation of permits, and possible imprisonment.

On DTI’s part, our Consumer Protection and Advocacy Bureau (CPAB) likewise has been working on heightening consumer awareness on purchasing only those construction materials that comply with product standards.

Likewise, our DTI’s Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) has also been conducting intensified monitoring of construction material at the retail market. Doon mismo sa mga hardware.

Through our whole-of-government approach, we continue to safeguard our communities against earthquakes. However, we need the full support of suppliers, manufacturers and importers of these construction materials to comply with product standards. Further, we call on the public and local governments to help us in our monitoring efforts.

Remember, selling substandard materials is like selling illegal drugs. You endanger the lives of Filipinos.

To cultivate a culture of resilience with the goal of ensuring safe, adaptive, and disaster-resilient communities in the country, all of us need to work together in a whole-of-nation approach. By doing so, our people can be secure in creating a better future for themselves and their children.

This is the realization of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s vision of Tapang at Malasakit with a government that has the political will to do the difficult reforms at magkaroon ng tunay na pagbabago para sa kapakanan ng ating mahal na kababayan.

Maraming salamat po. Good afternoon.

Date of Release: 27 February 2020