DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez (center) inspects steel bars in Valenzuela City. Also in the photo are Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) Division Chief Neil Catajay, Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau Director Ronnel Abrenica, Undersecretary Ruth Castelo, and BPS Director James Empeño.

 VALENZUELA CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) inspected hardware stores in Valenzuela City on 5 July 2019 and caught two stores selling substandard products. One store was selling substandard or underweight steel bars and wires with no Philippine Standard certification marks (PS marks), while another was found selling PVC pipes and toilet wares without PS marks.

The said products will be confiscated and violating stores have 48 hours to answer the Notice of Violation issued by DTI. They will also be charged a penalty ranging from P17,500 to P35,000.

The team also inspected a steel manufacturing plant in the area and found that they complied with the product standards and testing equipment required by the DTI.

The inspection in Valenzuela, led by Secretary Ramon Lopez and Consumer Protection Group Undersecretary Ruth Castelo, was part of the nationwide inspection drive conducted by the Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB), Bureau of Product Standards (BPS), Philippine Accreditation Bureau (PAB), and DTI Regional Offices.

Sec. Lopez said that daily inspections by the FTEB have led to the decrease in violators in Metro Manila. The agency is now intensifying monitoring efforts in other regions to stamp out substandard materials in the market.

Selling substandard products is not good for your business, since you will not establish credibility,” Sec. Lopez warned hardware owners, “If you are caught selling them, you will be fined and we will confiscate your products, thus losing your investment. In selling these products, you are deceiving and endangering consumers and the public.”

Department Administrative Order 18-03:2018 enumerates products monitored by DTI for product standards. These include home appliances and electronic products, building and construction materials, and chemical products like fire extinguishers and LPG tanks.

For consumers, Sec. Lopez suggests to always look for PS marks or Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) stickers on the products they buy. If they find stores selling substandard products, they should inform DTI through its Consumer Care Hotline 1-384 (1-DTI) or email to consumercare@dti.gov.ph.

The trade secretary said that intensifying enforcement of product standards is part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Tapang at Malasakit campaign to protect the safety and welfare of the Filipino people.♦

Date of Release: 5 July 2019