Manila Bulletin, B-11, June 16, 2005
(similar story also came out in Business World and Daily Tribune)

In this age when most construction projects involve concrete mix, the quality of cement can spell boom or doom for project proponents, government regulators, cement manufacturers and the consuming public. A slight variance in quality can mean collapsed buildings and houses, ruined bridges, damaged roads, and precious lives lost.

That is why 25 years ago, cement makers – with strong prodding from the government – put up a central laboratory to monitor all cement products made in the country. Today, the Cement Testing Center (CTC) continues to be the quality watchdog of the Philippine cement industry by testing samples taken monthly from manufacturing plants and the market.

CTC is celebrating its silver anniversary at the end of June with simple ceremonies to be held at its testing laboratory in Pasig City. The event intends to showcase CTC’s contributions to the domestic cement and construction business.

“We’re proud to have reached this milestone and we intend to move forward until we achieve international recognition and become instrumental in enhancing the global competitiveness of Filipino cement,” said CTC manager Noel de la Cruz.

In order to realize this vision, he said, CTC strives for the highest level of competence in cement testing in order to become a highly competent model testing laboratory for cement and related industries.

CTC, known then as Cement Central Laboratory (CCLab.), was established in 1980 by the then Philippine Cement Manufacturers Corp. (Philcemcor) upon strong encouragement by the Philippine Cement Industry Authority (PCIA) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

In January 1981, it started operations under the direct supervision and control of the PCIA with a three-year technical assistance package from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

The country’s leading and most established cement testing laboratory is BPS accredited from 1985 to present and currently conforms with PNS ISO/IEC 17025:2000. The CTC works for the government through the DTI’s Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) by providing them unbiased testing – both physical and chemical analyses – of local and imported cement products. The test is to guarantee that all cement being sold in the market conform strictly to applicable Philippine National Standards.

Apart from BPS, the Bureau of Research and Standards (BRS) of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has accredited CTC since 1989 to conduct physical and chemical tests of various cement products used in government infrastructure projects.

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