Philippine’s media reported that Philippine’s Department of Trade and Industry has intensified crackdown against substandard steel products seizing these items from hardware stores to protect the public from the rampant malpractice. Philippine Iron and Steel Institute President Mr Ronald Magsajo said “DTI and the private sector are intensifying their campaign against substandard rebars, angle bars and unmarked and unregistered bars that have been flooding the market of late. The unprecedented act of seizing the inferior products sends a strong signal to errant manufacturers and hardware stores. The pandemic has made people price sensitive and some unscrupulous manufacturers have been taking advantage of this. So, PISI and the DTI have to step in to protect the public. These products are either smuggled but largely locally made from factories that have been cropping up using the induction furnace technology China banned in 2017 for being a major source of smog in Beijing and its surrounding areas.”
Last month, DTI’s La Union provincial office confiscated the inferior products and warned the hardware store carrying them that it would be dealt with severely if it is found again selling such products.
PISI will also intensify its test-buy operations in suspected hotspots of substandard products throughout the country. PISI has been deploying its test-buy teams the past several months and sending the suspect sample products to the DTI which then sends them to a government laboratory, the Metals Industry Research and Development Center, for analysis. So far, MIRDC has found several samples from test-buy operations falling short of product standards in terms of weight and size. Other products were found to have unregistered marks or were unmarked which would make their source or producer difficult to trace.