The Department of Trade and Industry plans to review the trade practice of allowing imported cement to be relabeled as local amid the complains of the domestic industry.
Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said the Bureau of Product Standards allows imported cement to be relabeled as local and assume different branding if given proper accreditation.
“It was cleared that according to BPS guidelines, when the foreign manufacturer is accredited by BPS, they can label it as made in the Philippines,” Castelo said over the weekend.
She said the government responded quickly to the letter filed by the Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines after the group found out and reported that Philcement Corp. was importing and selling the same product as its own.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the DTI would study the case “but offhand, if product is not really manufactured here, then it cannot be labeled as ‘Made in the Philippines’.”
CeMAP, in a letter to the DTI in early 2020, asked the Consumer Protection Group to investigate the case and cited breaches in the minimum requirements set under DAO 17-06, or the New Rules and Regulations Concerning the Mandatory Certification of Portland Cement and Blended Hydraulic Cement with Pozzolan.
A market monitoring conducted by the group showed Philcement brands Union V Super and Union V Ultra lacked PS License markings on the bags. PS license number, supposedly, is one of the minimum requirements under DAO 17-06.
The group also noted that the brands failed to show clearly the print batch identification number and manufacturing date on the bag.
The BPS said it would verify the case and find merit to CeMAP’s complaints.
The DAO 17-06:2017 specifies that an importer should apply for a statement of confirmation on a per product, per shipment, per bill of lading basis prior to its distribution in the market.
Castelo earlier said the DAO was crafted to strictly ensure that only cement sourced from a manufacturing plant holding a valid PS License, and whose product successfully passed the requirements of the relevant standard and the BPS Product Certification Scheme would be available for purchase of consumers in the market.
Under the existing guidelines, a show cause order may be issued to a manufacturer or importer for non-compliance with the legal and technical requirements.
This will subject manufacturers/importers to temporarily stop supplying, distributing, selling or displaying the products until the SCO is lifted.