Imported cement assures construction boom in Philippines’ Davao

Imported cement assures construction boom in Philippines’ Davao
Published: 26 February 2007

A looming construction boom in Southern Mindanao this summer, is expected to go unbothered by problems on the supply of cement, given the recent landing of some 14,000t from China. 
 
In fact, more than half of the shipment of the Conch cement brand imported by businessman Vic Lao is just awaiting the result of a laboratory test now being done at the Bureau of Product Standards in Manila. 
 
The other half had already been issued the corresponding clearances and is cleared for distribution in the construction market. 
 
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) director for Davao City Teodulo Pasawa said all shipment of imported products need to be tested per bill of lading. 
 
On the other hand, Lao said the test is being administered by DTI which collects the samples themselves and had it tested by an accredited laboratory. 
 
Pasawa said Lao applied early this month for the importation of more than 6,000MTs of cement of the Conch brand, and after it passed the test, done between three to five days, the product was issued an Import Commodity Clearance (ICC). 
 
However he said there was another load of 7,000 tons of same brand of cement earmarked for distribution in other areas, but was shipped to Davao City and this imported cement shipment has to be tested as well. 
 
The samples were already collected and sent to Manila for testing and it will take a week for the result to come out, he said. 
 
He said while waiting for the result of the test, the product may not yet be sold to the consumers. Once it gets the ICC mark, it is deemed ready for marketing. 
 
Pasawa said since the cement carries the same brand and are loaded on the same vessel, "I believe it will have same result."
 
He said Lao had established a record of importing quality standard cement (of same brand) that was shipped to Cotabato in November 2006.
 
The sample was tested at Philcemcor, an affiliate laboratory of Holcim and it passed the standard 
 
Davao City consumers noted that earlier, a shipment of low quality cement stocks sporting a different brand-name was merchandised to the locality’s end-consumers. 
 
Lao said a certain Mr. Maligad bearing identification card of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) went to the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to checking on dubious shipment. 
 
He cited the alleged impropriety of PCCI when it sent its personnel to check on the manner businesses of Davao City are being ran, which to him should be the local chambers call. 
 
This scenario made Lao to suspect that the dis-affiliation of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) from PCCI is getting a backlash.
 
He said the DCCCII board already agreed in their board meeting last Tuesday that they will raise a protest to the Department of Finance on the act of PCCI. 
 
Pasawa however said that if there are concerns that would affect consumer rights anybody could lodge a complaint. 
 
"We make sure that consumer gets quality products," he said.