Duterte or­ders com­pul­sory qual­ity checks for hol­low blocks

Business World - - Front Page - Jen­ina P. Ibañez

PRES­I­DENT Ro­drigo R. Duterte has or­dered the in­clu­sion of hol­low blocks in the list of prod­ucts for manda­tory cer­ti­fi­ca­tion af­ter ques­tions about the qual­ity of build­ing ma­te­ri­als emerged fol­low­ing re­cent earth­quakes.

PRES­I­DENT Ro­drigo R. Duterte has or­dered the in­clu­sion of hol­low blocks in the list of prod­ucts for manda­tory cer­ti­fi­ca­tion af­ter ques­tions about the qual­ity of build­ing ma­te­ri­als emerged fol­low­ing re­cent earth­quakes.

A state­ment from the Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try (DTI) on Thurs­day said that the Pres­i­dent raised con­cerns about build­ing ma­te­ri­als dur­ing the Cab­i­net meet­ing Wednes­day, par­tic­u­larly those made by small sup­pli­ers, af­ter the re­cent earth­quakes in Min­danao.

Trade Sec­re­tary Ra­mon M. Lopez said steel, ce­ment, and sev­eral other con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als are rou­tinely cer­ti­fied to com­ply with qual­ity stan­dards.

Mr. Duterte also or­dered all lo­cal gov­ern­ment units (LGU) and con­trac­tors to en­sure that all con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als they use pass qual­ity stan­dards.

Con­trac­tors us­ing in­fe­rior-qual­ity con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als and breach­ing spec­i­fi­ca­tions in the Build­ing Code and struc­tural de­sign may have their con­trac­tor li­censes re­voked. Con­trac­tors that use un­cer­ti­fied ma­te­ri­als for gov­ern­ment projects will not be paid and will have their con­tracts ter­mi­nated, Mr. Lopez said.

“The qual­ity of any build­ing struc­ture de­pends not only on the prod­uct stan­dards, but also on the qual­ity of the con­struc­tion job, par­tic­u­larly on ad­her­ence to ap­proved struc­tural de­sign and the Build­ing Code, re­quired steel den­sity, ce­ment mix­tures, among oth­ers,” Mr. Lopez said.

DTI has is­sued new tech­ni­cal reg­u­la­tions for ce­ment, steel bars, and glass. Ce­ment, steel bars, and nails are in the manda­tory cer­ti­fi­ca­tion list, while the in­clu­sion of glass in the list is cur­rently sub­ject to a court in­junc­tion.

The depart­ment is study­ing the in­clu­sion of roof­ing, ce­ramic tiles, and ply­wood in the list. DTI is also hold­ing con­sul­ta­tions on the reg­u­la­tion of black iron and gal­va­nized iron; steel pipes; and steel sheets.

Apart from the PS (Philip­pine Stan­dard) ac­cred­i­ta­tion of the man­u­fac­tur­ing plant, prod­ucts are also tested at the plant, and im­ported steel or ce­ment are tested at pre-ship­ment and post-ship­ment stages. The sam­ple size for test­ing was also in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly. —

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