FPI wants stricter rules on product standards
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - October 26, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s group of manufacturers is proposing stricter rules on product standards to protect consumers from substandard goods.

Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) chairman Jesus Arranza said there is a need for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to have clearer and stricter provisions on products classified under mandatory and voluntary standards as the country is being flooded by imported substandard products which are eating into the share of local manufacturers.

Among the industries plagued by the influx of substandard products are steel, glass, ceramic tiles, cement, food, medicine and wood.

Arranza said the group is seeking a meeting with the DTI’s Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) to present proposals on the rules covering product standards.

Among the proposals of the FPI is for the BPS to make it clear that all existing standards are mandatory and to subject factories to strict inspection and the marketplace for monitoring.

“Consumers are currently at the mercy of producers and traders of products not categorized under mandatory standards. I learned that those products not under mandatory are not being checked by the BPS,” Arranza said.

FPI also wants the government to immediately cancel the license to import of traders found to be bringing in substandard goods.

For manufacturers found to have produced substandard goods at a volume no longer considered accidental, the FPI said they should be ordered to suspend operations for the first offense, and to close when the offense is committed again.

As for retailers, Arranza said the government should immediately seize the substandard products being sold for the first offense.

Stores should be padlocked in case of a repeat of the violation.

FPI is also proposing that retailers should get a certification from their suppliers to ensure that products have passed government inspection for quality standards.

If there are complaints of unfair competition from the strict implementation of product standards rules, Arranza said the main venue should be the Philippine Competition Commission.

“Remember those product standards are there to protect the lives and limbs of consumers, as well as to ensure they are getting their money’s worth when they buy goods,” Arranza said.

“So we have to be very strict in the implementation, inspection, and monitoring of product standards. It is not an unfair competition since the standards will be enforced on both imported and locally produced products,” he said.

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