PISI urges DTI to monitor sales of steel bars
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - January 21, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Iron and Steel Institute (PISI) is urging the DTI to monitor and issue show cause orders against stores selling substandard reinforcing steel bars in Southern Luzon.

In a statement, PISI said it found several hardware stores selling substandard reinforcing steel bars in the provinces of Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, and Occidental Mindoro during a recent market monitoring operation.

For the market monitoring activity, PISI bought steel bars and submitted these to the Metals Industry Research and Development Center for testing based on the requirements of the prevailing Philippine National Standards (PNS) 49:2002 for steel bars for concrete reinforcement and PNS 211:2002 for rerolled steel bars for concrete reinforcement.  

Based on the findings, the group is requesting the DTI to conduct its own market monitoring activity and to enforce standards on steel bars in the four provinces. 

“We have also recommended to the Bureau of Product Standards to conduct an immediate audit and issue show cause order on manufacturers that produce and sell substandard rebars,” PISI president Roberto Cola said. 

PISI’s report submitted to the DTI showed Pampanga-based induction furnace steelmaker Wan Chiong Steel was found selling mostly underweight or rebars with low elongation at six stores. 

CKU came in second with five stores selling underweight rebars. 

Other manufacturers found selling substandard rebars were Capasco, Phil Koktai Metal, Continental, Metrodragon, and Real Steel. 

PISI also found seven stores selling 8MM rebars as 9MM rebars, violating existing consumer protection laws. 

“We are concerned that substandard rebars are being openly sold in the provinces of Mindoro, Batangas, Laguna, and Cavite. These steel products are used for the construction of homes in the provinces which are usually visited by typhoons, flashfloods, and sometimes earthquakes, and thus, they need to use quality construction materials. The proliferation of substandard steel in the provinces poses grave danger to families living in those provinces,” Cola said. 

“While substandard rebars are unsafe to use, they are being sold without the knowledge of the buying public,” he said further.

Most of the substandard rebars found being sold in the domestic market were produced by steelmakers using induction furnace (IF) which mostly came from China after the IF units were banned there due to  pollution and below standard quality of output.

Citing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Iron and Steel Council, PISI said 90 percent of the rebars produced in China using the IF process were “substandard with poor mechanical property in elongation and strength which could easily fracture during application.”

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