The DTI-Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (DTI-FTEB) wiped over 24,044 units of uncertified products worth of Php8,018,049.00 during the two-day enforcement operation in Davao City on 22-23 June 2023. 

Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo, together with DTI-Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) Director Atty. Fhillip D. Sawali led the enforcement operations. 

Of the 23 firms inspected, 22 were issued Notices of Violation (NOV) and were ordered to explain within 48 hours from receipt thereof. 

Among the covered products are black iron and galvanized iron (BI-GI) steel pipes, deformed steel bars, low carbon steel wires, and polyethylene (PE) pipes for potable water. 

BI-GI steel pipes 

The DTI team seized 4,412 units of black and hot-dipped zinc coated (galvanized) longitudinally welded steel pipes worth Php4,151,556.00 due to misleading label from hardware stores, which is tantamount to deceptive sales act and practice under the Consumer Act of the Philippines. 

The DTI’s pursuit against unfair trade practices by retailers is to ensure these businesses do not deceive the public and do not violate the rights of consumers. 

Deformed steel bars 

Following the inspection of deformed steel bars, 17,709 pieces worth Php2,822,423.00 were sealed after they were discovered to be under the prescribed standard weight. 

The DTI regulates steel bars to guarantee their capacity to reinforce concrete and enhance its ability to withstand earthquakes and other calamities that often hit the country. 

Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 02, Series of 2007, orders the mandatory certification of deformed steel bars, rerolled steel bars, and equal leg angle steel bars. 

Low carbon steel wires 

Non-compliance with the labelling requirements, such as the absence of Philippine Standard (PS) Quality and/or Safety Mark and Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) Sticker as well as the manufacturer’s name and address in the product, led to the sealing of 556 units of Low Carbon Steel Wires worth Php720,250.00. 

Department Administrative Order No. 06, Series of 2006, requires the mandatory implementation of the Philippine National Standards (PNS) on low carbon steel wires – plain, annealed & galvanized, issued as PNS 133:2005. 

The DTI safeguards the quality of steel wires as they serve as raw materials for many industries, from automobile and construction to engineering. 

PE pipes for potable water 

For failure to comply with the requisite PS Quality and/or Safety Mark and ICC Sticker, the DTI team sealed 1,280 units of pipes (PE) for potable water supply worth Php320,000.00. 

Department Administrative Order No. 4, Series of 1996, orders the mandatory implementation of several Philippine National Standards (PNS), including the PNS on Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride (uPVC) Pipes for Potable Water Supply, issued as PNS 65:1993. 

The regulation aims to ensure that only high-quality pipes (PE) for potable water supply are available in the market as this directly translates to the quality of water that reaches consumers’ homes. 

DTI’s enforcement efforts  

With the success of the 2-day crackdown, Trade Secretary Pascual committed to stronger market visibility. 

 “To boost the Philippine economy, the DTI puts emphasis on cultivating fair trade while upholding consumer protection. Therefore, let this intense enforcement operations be a strong warning that the Department will not hesitate to act against violators of Fair Trade and Industry Laws”, Secretary Pascual underscored.  

Furthermore, Sec. Pascual highlighted the significance of the DTI-CPG’s efforts in implementing and enforcing mandatory product certification schemes on steel products and other construction materials.  

“The Philippine Standard (PS) Quality and/or Safety Mark and Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) Sticker are there to guide consumers in their purchase decisions despite varying levels of technical knowledge on product specification and standards,” USec. Atty. Castelo said. 

Meanwhile, DTI-FTEB Director Atty. Sawali assures the consuming public of the enforcement teams’ relentless market surveillance and enforcement on products under technical regulations. 

Apart from its intense enforcement of technical regulations in the National Capital Region, DTI-CPG randomly conducts operations and consumer protection advocacy and education campaigns in other regions through the FTEB and CPAB. 

Further, the DTI also engages in a campaign against uncertified items in the market, including the enforcement of technical regulations mandating compliance with Philippine Standard Certification Mark Schemes, particularly Department Administrative Order No. 02, Series of 2007 through the BPS.  

To protect consumers or potential buyers of electrical and electronic products; mechanical or building and construction materials; and chemical and other consumer products and systems, DTI – Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS) covers products and systems through implementing Mandatory Product Certification Schemes: the PS Quality and/or Safety Certification Mark Licensing Scheme and the ICC Certification Scheme. 

The DTI urges consumers to report retailers, distributors, and manufacturers that sell uncertified items, through the Consumer Care Hotline at DTI (1-384) or*

Date of release: 01 July 2023