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Business

DTI shortens period for cement products testing

- Rocel Felix -
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) shortened the period of testing the comprehensive strength of cement products to just seven days to facilitate the entry of imported cement and stabilize domestic prices.

"We have considered the suggestion of importers to reconsider the period required for cement testing to save on inventory, holding and carrying costs," Trade Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal said yesterday.

The new directive is intended to speed up the timeframe to bring in imported cement and influence pricing in the domestic market.

Factory prices of cement rose six percent to P122 per bag from P115, with retail prices higher by about P10 to P12. This is despite the onset of the rainy season when demand for cement usually slows down and the government’s decision to slash safeguard duties to bring in cheap imported cement.

Previously, the testing period was 28 days. It is a requirement for the approval and issuance of the import commodity clearance (ICC) to importers of cement products.

A necessary condition set by the Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) under Memo Circular 31, Series 2004, is that 85 percent, or an equivalent of 23.46 Mega Pascal (Mpa) comprehensive strength should be reached and consistent until the 28th day of testing.

If a cement product does not reach the set standard, the importer of such cement product will have to recall the entire shipment from the market.

Cristobal stressed that the new BPS circular does not compromise the safety and quality of the cement that consumers use.

"We want to help the industry, but at the same time, we will do so without sacrificing the value of products. In whatever way, we help the manufacturers and importers, we ensure that the welfare of consumers are still top priority."

BPS initiated the evaluation and assessment of current guidelines. Results of the DTI-BPS issuances of ICC for imported cement from 2001 to 2002 show that all cement samples submitted by 17 importers attained a comprehensive strength of not less than 23.46 MPa or 85 percent of the 27.6 Mpa required for the 28th day period.

Moreover, the same samples passed the comprehensive strength requirement on the 28th day of 27.6 Mpa. The comprehensive strength test for seven days that result to not less than 23.46 Mpa or 85 percent is accepted by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as a reference to use a cement product in its various projects.

In the DTI-BPS ICC certification scheme, an importer and distributor of a cement product should comply with the requirements of the Department Administrative Order 05:2001 and the Philippine National Standard (PNS) 07:2000.

When a cement product passes the required tests, the DTI-BPS issues the ICC to its importer or distributor to sell and distribute this to the local market affixed with the ICC mark.

BUREAU OF PRODUCT STANDARDS

CEMENT

CRISTOBAL

DEPARTMENT ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS

DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY

MEGA PASCAL

MEMO CIRCULAR

MPA

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL STANDARD

TRADE UNDERSECRETARY ADRIAN S

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