The Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (CEMAP) warned local cement industry and their distributors, particularly in Southern Mindanao area, on the possible entry into the local market of 118,000 bags of cement from China believed to be defective.
CEMAP president Ernesto Ordonez said the clandestine release of the cement to the local market even before completion of required testing by the Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) is believed possible even after the cement importation was ordered impounded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Region XI because the warehouse where it is stored is not guarded 24 hours.
Ordonez said in his letter to the DTI that "local cement manufacturers earlier called on DTI to seriously implement its testing and certification requirements for imported cement," believed to be attempting to penetrate the market with cheap prices, being a "substandard."
Ordonez made the appeal after he received reports that "defective" cement is now possibly making its way to the local market through the Mindanao backdoor, thus posing dangers to the construction industry and eventually the public.
The CEMAP president pointed out that even if the imports are relatively small to affect local producers, the undue entry of the allegedly substandard Chinese cement could set a precedent that could grow into a huge headache in the future. Ordonez added that this could be a "test case" on the resolve of the government to seriously implement its regulations and protect local investments as well as the general public.