Cement, steel firms vow quality products for ‘buy local’ initiative

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    LOCAL cement and steel manufacturers over the weekend backed the “buy local” initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry as they underscored their commitment to continuously provide quality products for the government’s Build Build Build program.

    As they welcomed the government’s move to prioritize local construction materials for the BBB program, the Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (CeMAP) and Philippine Iron and Steel Institute (PISI) said the initiative will help spur economic recovery, preserve jobs and contribute to the national income through taxes.

    “The Philippine building materials industries, especially the cement industry, is confident and ready to ensure that our Philippine infrastructure projects will have adequate supply from companies that are proud to be manufacturing locally,” CeMAP executive director Cirilo Pestaño said in a joint statement with PISI.

    PISI president Roberto Cola said the steel industry will provide quality building materials, especially Philippine steel, for ongoing and upcoming government projects.

    “Some people are taking advantage of the situation. Unscrupulous traders who fake their labels are a bane to the government’s buy local initiative and pose serious concerns for consumers who will ultimately be affected by their false marketing strategies,” said Cola, referring to substandard steel bars being sold in small markets.

    The two groups are at the forefront of the battle against substandard and mislabeled construction materials, such as cement and steel bars. CeMAP guards against mislabeling of imported cement and passing it off as locally manufactured while PISI is on the lookout for substandard steel bars being sold in the market.

    Recently, Pestaño called the DTI’s attention to the possible non-compliance of Philcement Corporation’s “Union V Super Strength 40” Type 1P cement to Philippine National Standards and Department Administrative Order 17-06, or the new rules covering cement in the country.

    Pointing out that Philcement is engaged in cement importation, Pestaño noted that the packaging of one of the products it is selling in Pampanga carried the markings “Manufactured by Philcement Corporation” and “Product of the Philippines.”