The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has suspended the licenses of global steelmakers for the failure to comply with product standards.
In a statement yesterday, DTI said the Philippine Standard (PS) licenses of the following firms are suspended: SteelAsia for its Meycauayan plant, Maxima Steel Mills Corp., Henro Steel Corp., Cathay Metal Corp., Somico Steel Mill Corp. and Sagarthama Steel Trading Corp.
DTI decided to temporarily hold off the firms’ licenses as samples from the firms subjected to testing by the Metals Industry Research and Development Center did not meet indicated product standards.
“Until these steel manufacturers comply with the PNS (Philippine National Standard), their PS licenses will remain suspended,” DTI said.
SteelAsia said in a statement yesterday corrective measures have been undertaken.
“We are confident that our Meycauayan Mill 2 will be declared fully compliant by the Bureau of Product Standards shortly,” the firm said.
As part of DTI’s aim to curb use of substandard steel products, it has also denied the issuance of import commodity clearances (ICC) for deformed steel bars and equal leg angle bars imported by firms Megawide Construction Corp., Petron Corp. and Remington Industrial Sales Corp. valued at over P68 million.
DTI said it denied the issuance of ICC for deformed steel bars by Megawide for non-compliance to product standards.
Meanwhile, Petron’s imports had no proper markings, and Remington had no PS license for the import of equal leg angle bars.
“All these imported steel bars were either destroyed or exported to their country of origin,” DTI said.
The PS license or ICC issued by the DTI allows the distribution of products in the market.
Last year, DTI also formally charged and ordered Wan Chiong Steel Corp. to pay an administrative penalty of P450,000 for manufacturing deformed steel bars not covered by its PS license.
Similarly, DTI has formally charged Dragon Asia Rolling Mills for manufacturing steel not covered by the scope of its PS license. The case is awaiting decision.
DTI’s statement comes amid claims by consumer industry group Philippine Product Safety and Quality Foundation that the agency has not taken any action against firms supplying substandard steel products.
“For the whole of 2019, the DTI penalized a total of 42 retailers and manufacturers of steel – a clear contrast to the claim of a product safety and quality group that the department failed to charge violating steel manufacturers and traders for substandard steel products. The DTI stops at nothing in tracking down unscrupulous businesses and ensuring that violators are dealt with to the highest and fullest extent of the law. The protection of consumers is our utmost priority and we remain steadfast in our commitment,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
As the DTI is stepping up monitoring of products under its jurisdiction, it is also reminding the public to be vigilant when purchasing steel products and other construction materials.
“Always look for the PS or ICC mark to be assured of quality and safety,” DTI said.