THE PHILIPPINE Iron and Steel Institute (PISI) said it found several hardware stores south of Metro Manila selling substandard reinforcing steel bars (rebar) during a recent market monitoring operation.
The group said it submitted to the Department of Trade and Industry’s Consumer Protection Group (DTI-CPG) the findings of the “test buy” operations it conducted particularly in Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, and Mindoro Occidental.
“We also recommended to the Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) to conduct an immediate audit and issue show-cause orders to the manufacturers that produced and sold the substandard rebar,” said PISI President Roberto M. Cola in a statement.
In the PISI report, Pampanga-based induction furnace steelmaker Wan Chiong Steel had the most number of infractions with six hardware stores selling its underweight rebar, among other faults. This was followed by CKU with five stores selling underweight rebars.
Other manufacturers found by PISI selling substandard rebar in the region Luzon were Capasco, Phil Koktai Metal, Continental, Metrodragon, and Real Steel.
Meanwhile, seven stores sold 8 millimeter rebar as 9 millimeter rebar, in violation of 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 these provinces which are usually visited by typhoons, flash floods and sometimes earthquakes, and thus, they need to use quality construction materials. The proliferation of substandard steel in these provinces poses grave danger to families living in these provinces,” Mr. Cola said.
The steel bars bought by PISI were submitted to the Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) where they were tested against 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. — Janina C. Lim