Group finds substandard steel sold in Southern Luzon
The Philippine Iron and Steel Institute (Pisi) said it found substandard reinforcing steel bars (rebars) being “openly sold” in some provinces in southern Luzon at the risk of consumer safety.
In a statement, Pisi president Roberto Cola said that recent “test buy” operations flagged several hardware stores in the provinces of Laguna, Cavite, Batangas and Occidental Mindoro.
The steel bars bought by Pisi were submitted to the Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) where they were tested against the requirements of prevailing national standards.
“We are concerned that substandard rebars are being openly sold [in these provinces],” he said.
“These steel products are used for the construction of homes in these provinces which are usually visited by typhoons, flash floods and sometimes earthquakes,” he said.
Pisi said it submitted the findings of its test buy operations in southern Luzon to the consumer protection group of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
It also requested the DTI to monitor markets and enforce strict standards for safety.
Cola said Pisi also recommended to the Bureau of Product Standards an immediate audit of steel products and to issue show cause order to manufacturers that produced and sold the substandard rebars.
“The proliferation of substandard steel in these provinces poses grave danger to families living in these provinces,” he said, noting that consumers were unaware of these safety issues.
Cola also noted that most of the substandard rebars found sold in the domestic market were produced by steel makers using induction furnace (IF), which mostly came from China.
These IF units, he said, were banned in China due to the pollution they had been causing and the substandard quality of their products.
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