Group asks DTI to thoroughly inspect imported cement

February 20, 2024

CEBU CITY, Philippines — A group of cement manufacturers warns providers of imported cement to be compliant with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)’s administrative order (DAO).

In a statement sent by the Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (Cemap) to CDN Digital, they noted a “growing concern” of imported cement that is possibly not being properly inspected and subjected to proper sampling by government authorities before being sold in the market.

They specifically mentioned about compliance provided under DTI’s DAO 17-06.

“This is a serious matter that needs to be addressed immediately since consumer protection is possibly compromised and poses a great risk to the strength and durability of houses, roads, bridges, etc., across the Philippines where there are a lot of construction activities going on,” Cemap said.

DTI administrative order 17-06

DAO 17-06 provides new rules and regulations concerning the mandatory certification of Portland cement and blended hydraulic cement with pozzolan.

Furthermore, Cemap said that they observed some photos and advertisements across social media that some cement products sold in the Philippines appeared to be directly sold from vessels. These areas were in Western Visayas, Central Luzon, and some parts of Mindanao.

Cemap said merchants sold those imported cement products at an “ex-vessel” price even before the necessary inspection and sampling conducted by DTI.

Product inspection

The association said that as per DAO 17-06, DTI should conduct a product inspection and sampling, emphasizing that these procedures are mandatory before distributing, selling, or using imported cement products in the Philippines.

They also want the public to be extra vigilant of the cement products they use or sell in the market and ensure that the products comply with the Philippine National Standards (PNS), and check with their developers or contractors that the cement they use in their construction projects are fully tested and compliant.

Consequently, the association also recommends DTI to review the DAO to “rectify the current situation and ensure strict enforcement and full compliance with regulations.”

Cemap said that imported cement should be required to undergo chemical and seven days of physical strength testing (critical testing) before it is permitted for distribution, sale, or use to determine if it meets the required specifications as per PNS.

They added that the imported cement must undergo the said process regardless of whether it underwent pre-shipment testing because there is a risk of the cement quality deteriorating during handling, shipping, and transport from a foreign manufacturer’s plant to Philippine ports.

Importance of quality

“Imported cement[s] are likewise exposed to elements such as humidity and other sea elements from its long voyage prior to arrival in the Philippines, which may affect its quality and performance,” Cemap said.

The association added that non-compliance or absence of critical testing requirements while the products are already being sold puts the consumers of the imported cement and the public in general at significant risk.

Considering the “integrity, safety, durability, and life cycle” of structures like houses, clinics, schools, hospitals, buildings, roads, bridges, and other establishments, Cemap wanted to adhere to quality products.


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