Cement firms flag imports amid infra blitz

February 9, 2024

The country might be literally building on shaky ground as fears mount over the reliability of imported cement flooding the market.

Serious concerns are thus raised over consumer protection along with the structural integrity of key infrastructure.

Local groups express worry that imported cement may be bypassing crucial inspections and testing mandated by the Department of Trade and Industry.

Skirting Department Administrative Order 17-06 places consumers at risk as it jeopardizes the strength and longevity of buildings, roads, and bridges across the country.

Social media reports suggest direct sales of imported cement, potentially skipping mandatory checks.

There are photos and advertisements sent through social media and some shared through messaging apps that certain cement products, sold across the Philippines especially in Western Visayas, Central Luzon, and parts of Mindanao, appear to be directly sold from vessels, at ex-vessel price, possibly even before the necessary inspection and sampling are completed.

There should be product inspection and sampling to be done by the DTI based on the procedures that are mandatory prior to distribution, sale or use of the imported cement product.

Avoid hasty approvals

The Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines, or CeMAP, thus, expresses concern about hasty approvals, issuing clearances based solely on pre-shipment reports, which might not reflect their actual quality.

There is also the possibility of a lack of critical testing, failing to require additional chemical and physical strength tests on imported cement upon arrival.

Imported cement, regardless of whether it underwent pre-shipment testing, should additionally be required to undergo chemical and seven days physical strength testing (also called critical testing) before it is permitted for distribution, sale or use, to determine if it meets the required specifications.

Source: https://tribune.net.ph/2024/02/09/cement-firms-flag-imports-amid-infra-blitz

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