The Federation of Philippine Industries is pushing for refinements in the country’s rules on product standards as the pandemic exposed consumers to the risk of purchasing substandard goods.
Jesus Ar ranza, chairman of FPI, said this is especially important as the country deluged by imported substandard products, which are eating into the market of the domestic manufacturers.
Arranza said industries currently being plagued by the influx of substandard products include steel, glass, ceramic tiles, cement, food, medicine and wood.
Arranza said the group is seeking a dialogue with the Bureau of Product Standard (BPS) to propose clearer and stricter provisions on the implementation and monitoring of products currently falling under “mandatory” and “voluntary” standards to ensure this ambiguity in the law does not create unfair competition against those following the standards strictly.
Arranza said the BPS should make it clear that all existing standards are mandatory and will be subject to strict inspection in factories and monitoring in the marketplace.
He added the government should immediately cancel the license to import of traders that were found to be bringing in substandard goods.
Shipment s of importers should be thoroughly inspected, the same way the government is strict in checking the compliance of local manufacturers.
Third, for a manufacturer that is found to have produced substandard goods at a volume that can be deemed as no longer accidental, the penalties should be a suspension of operations for first- time offenders and closure for repeat offenders.
In the case of retailers, Arranza said the government should immediately seize the substandard products they are selling on the first offense. If they repeat the violation, their stores should be padlocked by the authorities.