The Department of Trade and Industry’s Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (DTI-FTEB) strengthened its enforcement activities for construction materials last week and inspected 50 hardware stores in Quezon City, Caloocan City, Parañaque City, and Muntinlupa City of the National Capital Region (NCR).
The DTI-FTEB enforcement teams inspected and verified on the required labels of certain construction materials that are under the List of Philippine National Standards (PNS) for mandatory product certification of the DTI-Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS). These construction materials include Black iron (BI) and galvanized iron (GI) steel pipe; Portland cement; Pozzolan cement; Deformed steel bar; Equal-leg angle bar; Polybutylene (PB) pipe; Polyethylene (PE) pipe for potable water supply; Unplasticized polyvinyl chloride (uPVC) pipe for potable water supply; PVC rigid electrical conduit; PVC-U pipe for drain waste and vent; Rerolled steel bar; Sanitary ware; and, Low-carbon steel wire.
DTI-FTEB Assistant Director Ferdinand L. Manfoste reported, “Forty-six of these 50 hardware stores were found selling construction materials that are conforming to the required labels according to relevant PNS. However, four (4) were found selling equal leg angle bars and steel bars that do not conform to the mandatory markings.”
In Muntinlupa City, the New Sankim Construction Supply was found with 278 pieces of underweight steel bars and equal leg angle bars. On the other hand, the Tunasan Hardware was found selling 188 pieces of equal leg angle bars without appropriate markings; while the Ekasy Construction Supply was found selling 273 pieces of steel bars and equal leg angle with no brand and no indication of grade and length. The stores were not able to show either a Philippine Standard (PS) license Commodity Clearance (ICC) clearance for said products.
In Caloocan City, the Innie Construction Supplies was selling three (3) pieces of underweight steel bars. The DTI-FTEB enforcement teams sealed a total of 742 pieces of steel bars and equal leg angle bars with a total value of almost P200,000.00 from the said four (4) hardware stores that do not comply with the provisions of the Republic Act (R. A.) 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines and the R. A. 4109 or the Standards Law.
Director Manfoste recounted, “The DTI-FTEB enforcement teams have issued the Notice of Violation to these four (4) hardware stores and the notice specifies that each should appear and explain before DTI in 48 hours.”
Yesterday, the DTI-FTEB returned to these hardware establishments to check on the sealed construction materials that were found being sold without the necessary labels.
DTI-Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba states, “The DTI confiscated the products that were sealed last week because they are not complying with the required labels. The confiscated products were deposited in the DTI warehouse”.
“The Department, through the DTI-FTEB’s Adjudication Division, will conduct further investigation on these four (4) hardware stores and check on their suppliers as manufacturers and importers of steel bars, which will also be held liable when found not conforming to the DTI-BPS Product Certification Scheme. Appropriate administrative penalties will be imposed accordingly to them when found to be committing such violation/s,” Undersecretary Dimagiba emphasizes.
The required labels for construction materials according to relevant PNS include name and address of the manufacturer/ importer; brand, trade name and recognized trade mark; Philippine Standard (PS) or Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) mark; and, country of manufacture. There are specific mandatory marks for each construction material such as the DTI-BPS approved logos for steel bars and equal leg angle bars.
The DTI enjoins the consumers to check on the required marks and labels prior to purchase.