• Business groups call for port of entry testing


    Business groups want the Trade department to conduct inspection and testing at the port of entry, aside from pre-shipment testing, for cement and steel products.

    In a press conference on Monday, Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) Chairman Jesus Arranza said port of entry inspection and testing would ensure compliance with quality and safety standards.

    The Trade department is currently amending a department administrative order (DAO) on cement that aims to apply equal testing procedures for local cement manufacturers and importers.

    Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez told the Philippine News Agency that the DAO on cement would have both pre-shipment and post-shipment verification.

    The FPI, however, said it was pushing for testing and not just post-shipment verification before the products are released into the domestic market.

    Arranza also cited a survey done by Philippine Product Safety and Quality Foundation (PPSQF) that other Asia Pacific countries were requiring the testing of cement products at the port of entry.

    These countries include ASEAN members such as Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam as well neighbors such as Japan, Taiwan and Australia.

    Arranza said the Trade department should also increase the number of testing facilities in the country for cement and steel products.

    Only the Metal Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is conducting post-shipment inspections of cement and steel products, the FPI claimed.

    Philippine Iron and Steel Institute (PISI) President Roberto Cola also said that the Trade department should accredit ISO 17025 certified laboratories.

    Both FPI and PISI stressed that they want to protect consumers from substandard cement and steel products and not to make business difficult for importers.



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