By Janina C. Lim, Reporter
THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it has signed an order reviving the mandatory testing and certification of flat glass and other subproducts before market entry to ensure the safety of consumers.
“Signed the DAO [department administrative order] on mandatory compliance requirement for flat glass. To ensure quality standard and protect consumers. Must be produced by PS [Philippine Standard] certified plants and all imports (should) pass quality test for their ICC [import commodity clearance] mark,” Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez told reporters in a mobile message on Friday.
As of press time, the DAO is still up for publication numbering.
Aside from re-enlisting all flat glass products covered by Philippine National Standard (PNS) 193 under the Bureau of Philippine Standard’s product certification scheme, the DAO also broadened the scope to include these subproducts specifically intended for building applications:
• heat-strenghtened and fully-tempered flat glass covered by PNS American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) C1048;
• laminated glass and laminated safety glass products covered by PNS 12543-2 and PNS 12543-3;
• and all bent glass products covered by PNS ASTM C1464
The BPS’ certification scheme requires manufacturers and importers or distributors to obtain a PS license and ICC before their BPS-covered products can be sold in the market.
Products affixed with these marks assure consumers of their passing quality and safety tests.
Any retailer or wholesaler found selling uncertified products will be seized of such products and will be fined up to P300,000, without prejudice to the filing of criminal or civil actions under applicable laws.
Flat glass, most commonly used for windows and doors in houses, buildings and automobiles, was delisted from the BPS’ certification scheme in 2015.
Nonito B. Galpa, Executive Vice-President of Pioneer Float Glass Manufacturing, Inc., the manufacturing affiliate through which TQMP produces flat glass, welcomed the DTI’s move.
“This is a welcome development, especially so that we have been praying for the reenlistment of flat glass in the mandatory standards. After all, this has been our advocacy to ensure the safety and welfare of the consumers. As we can see, all modern high rise buildings now are made up of 3 major components; cement, steel, and glass. So this is just a right timing to regulate the said products,” Mr. Galpa said in a mobile message yesterday.
TQMP had been making appeals to re-enlist flat glass amid the flooding of substandard imports which have thinned the market share of local manufacturers.
Mr. Galpa said TQMP’s over P5 billion expansion plan, which had been deferred due to the influx of substandard flat glass imports, “will push through and has been [put back] in the drawing table.”
A plant in Bataan will have a groundbreaking next year, with operations targeted by early 2022.