The Department of Trade and Industry as well representatives of steel, flat glass, and cement makers signed agreements late Tuesday on updating policies on product certification to improve product quality and safety.
In a briefing after the signing and consultation with the private sector, Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Victorio Mario Dimagiba said the agreements include changes in the certification process that cover sampling, inspection, and testing of cement, steel, and flat glass products.
“We have to thresh out major issues — the sampling size, inspection, and tests — in the last two days, in terms of what the industries wants,” said Roberto Cola, president of the Philippine Iron and Steel Institute (PISI).
“A lot of clarifications were made in the last two days. We’ve come to terms with what the industry wants. We’re glad DTI listened to our side,” he added.
The private sector have long been tapping the DTI to revisit current policies in certification — whether securing a Philippine National Standard (PNS) license or import commodity clearance (ICC) certificates — amid the proliferation of confiscated, substandard, and low quality products in the market.
Dimagiba said the agreements are the basis of a department administrative order to be done in two to three weeks. The order will implement the latest reforms.
Ernesto M. Ordonez, president of the Cement Manufactuers Association of the Philippines Inc., said that factories should also be reprimanded for substandard products in the market, not just the retailers.
On the other hand, Renato Ermita, chairman of the ACG Flat Glass Philippines Inc., said the changes will bring back the monitoring of flat glass sector after it has been delisted in the monitored products for certification in 2015. The delisting was made to ease the roadblocks to trade and flow of goods because of the port congestion problem in 2014.
The DTI will also meet with other industries and product groups to improve the country’s system and standards in product certification.