February 13, 2024

There is now a growing concern that the Philippines is being flooded by imported cement that are possibly not being properly inspected and subjected to proper sampling by government authorities before being sold in the market without compliance to these critical requirements as provided for in Department Administrative Order No. 17-06 of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

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.

There are photos and advertisements sent through social media and some are 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. However, as per DAO 17-06, there should be product inspection and sampling to be done by the DTI, and these procedures are mandatory prior to distribution, sale or use of the imported cement product in the Philippines.

In line with these concerns, CeMAP has recommended to the DTI to review the compliance with the DAO and requested the immediate suspension of the summary issuance of the Statement of Confirmation based only on the importation documents and pre-shipment inspection report as it might be subject to exploitation.

Imported cement, regardless of whether it underwent pre-shipment testing, should additionally be required to undergo chemical and 7 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 as per Philippine National Standards (PNS) because there is a risk of the cement quality deteriorating during handling, shipping, and transport from a foreign manufacturer’s plant to Philippine ports. Imported cement 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. Therefore, concern for consumer protection calls for mandatory critical testing to determine that the imported cement can withstand the weather conditions in the Philippines and should comply with the PNS before the distribution, sale, or use.

Non-compliance or absence of critical testing requirements while the products are already being sold, puts at great risk the consumers of the cement itself and public in general. We are talking about the integrity, safety, durability, and life cycle of the structures like houses, clinics, schools, hospitals, buildings, roads, bridges etc., and it is obviously dangerous if the product does not properly go through the same rigorous standards and testing that are required for locally manufactured cement.

CeMAP strongly recommends to the consuming public – builders, developers and even retailers to be extra vigilant of the cement products that they use or sell in the market and to ensure that the products they are using or selling complies with the PNS. The general public is also urged to check with their developers or contractors that the cement they use in their own construction projects are fully tested and compliant.

CeMAP further recommended to DTI an immediate review of the DAO, which is necessary to rectify the current situation and ensure strict enforcement and full compliance with regulations.


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