CeMAP Lauds DTI for imposing stricter cement standards

The Cement Manufacturers’ Association of the Philippines (CeMAP) lauded the Department of Trade and Industry – Bureau of Product Standards (DTI-BPS) for upgrading Portland cement standards, saying the move complements CeMAP members’ efforts to protect consumers from substandard cement products.

“We welcome the DTI’s imposition of stricter standards on Portland cement. This ensures that consumers are protected in the law against substandard cement,” CeMAP President Dr. Ernesto M. Ordoñez said. He also commended DTI Secretary Peter B. Favila and BPS Director Jesus L. Motoomull for providing industry stakeholders with a globally benchmarked reference standard.

Favila recently issued Department Administrative Order (DAO) 01:2006 to replace Philippine National Standard (PNS) 07:2000 with PNS 07:2005. The revised PNS requires Portland cement manufacturers and importers to identify their products with additional markings such as the date of manufacture which can easily be read and understood by consumers, and the batch identification number.

With the date of manufacture, consumers will know exactly when the cement was produced. The batch identification number, on the other hand, will enable the manufacturer to keep track of valuable information, such as the silo where the cement was stored, allowing for easier product traceability.

Apart from the date of manufacture and the batch identification number, the new PNS also requires cement manufacturers to include product quality markings. In the case of locally manufactured cement, each bag is required to carry the Philippine Standard (PS) mark. Imported cement, on the other hand, should be permanently stamped with an Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) mark, complete with the ICC number of the particular shipment.

Customers stand to benefit from the PS and ICC marks as these will provide them with an assurance that the products they are purchasing have passed quality tests at the BPS Testing Center or any BPS-accredited laboratory under the BPS Product Certification Scheme.

For cement shipped in bulk, the DTI also requires manufacturers and importers to provide complete shipping information. This will enable buyers to be properly informed about the cement’s country of origin, as well as the name, address and trademark of the manufacturer.

“Our members pledge full support and compliance with the order. Consumer welfare and product excellence are among the core principles of CeMAP members,” Dr. Ordoñez said. CeMAP members include Northern Cement, Pacific Cement, CEMEX Philippines, Holcim Philippines, Lafarge Associated Companies in the Philippines, and Taiheiyo Cement Philippines, Inc. The majority of these firms have received the highly-prized ISO 9002 for Quality Management Systems, a quality assurance model which certifies that a company has internationally approved processes key to producing world-class cement.

Advancements in the cement industry, as well as investments from multinational cement companies, have resulted in the introduction of high production standards and international best practices, effectively raising the quality of local cement and bringing a wider range of choices to the consumers. Strict adherence to these standards has earned for the Philippine cement industry various citations from both local and international award-giving bodies.

“The cement industry is deeply committed to providing consumers with a steady supply of high quality products that go beyond prescribed standards. We are one with the DTI in protecting consumers from substandard construction material,” Dr. Ordoñez said.

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