THE DEPARTMENT of Trade and Industry (DTI) seized more than P8 million worth of substandard and uncertified steel products after enforcement operations in Davao City on June 22 and 23, it said in a statement at the weekend.

These products included black and galvanized iron steel pipes, deformed steel bars, low-carbon steel wires and polyethylene pipes for potable water, it said. 

Notices of violation were issued on 22 of the 23 firms inspected as part of the enforcement operations led by Trade Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo and DTI-Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau Director Fhillip D. Sawali.

The agency seized 4,412 units of black and galvanized iron steel pipes worth P4.15 million due to misleading labels from hardware stores, which is equivalent to deceptive sales act and practice under the Consumer Act of the Philippines, it said.

DTI also took 17,709 pieces of deformed steel bars worth P2.82 million after being deemed under the prescribed standard weight. Under DTI rules, deformed, rerolled and equal-leg angle steel bars must undergo certification.

Steel bars are regulated to ensure their capacity to reinforce concrete and enhance its ability to withstand earthquakes and other calamities.

DTI also seized 556 units of low-carbon steel wires worth P720,250 for failing to comply with labeling requirements.

DTI also confiscated 1,280 units of polyethylene pipes for potable water worth P320,000 after failing to meet quality marks.

These marks are meant to “guide consumers in their purchase decisions despite varying levels of technical knowledge on product specification and standards,” Ms. Castelo said.

Meanwhile, Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said DTI wants to cultivate fair trade while protecting consumers as part of efforts to boost the economy.

“Let this intense enforcement operations be a strong warning that the DTI will not hesitate to act against violators of Fair Trade and Industry laws,” he said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave