House asked to look into importation of ‘substandard’ building materials

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A consumers group is urging a committee in the House of Representatives to look into the importation of allegedly substandard building products into the country.

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In a statement, United Filipino Consumers and Commuters (UFFC) President Rodolfo Javellana Jr. asked Rep. Ferjenel Biron of Iloilo — who leads the House Trade and Industry Committee — to conduct a probe into the matter.

“In the interest and protection of the Filipino consumers against uncertified and possible substandard/hazardous construction materials, may we humbly request your trade and commerce committee to conduct an urgent inquiry or investigation on the matter,” the statement quoted the letter dated January 31.

Javellana said, “The Filipino people would end up losing their hard-earned money, homes and worse, their lives once a powerful earthquake or a huge flood happens.”

The UFFC was reacting to the importation of 20,000 metric tons of steel bars from China at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Port.

“However, last December 8, 2016, its import commodity clearance was recalled/withdrawn by the very government agency that issued it, the Department of Trade and Industry’s Bureau of Philippine Standards, to make sure the cargo is compliant with law on its traceability, quality and safety,” the letter said.

“But as of December 19, truckloads of the shipment were illegally withdrawn/sold to the market,” it added.

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