The Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry Tuesday said it ordered the local cement making unit of Mexico’s Cemex to stop selling and distributing cement under its Island brand. Trade Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal said Solid Cement Corp. has been barred from selling its Island brand cement after it failed government standard safety and quality tests.
"We cannot risk the public’s safety by allowing the continued distribution of substandard cement," he said. Cristobal said the DTI order is preliminary and a preventive measure to protect consumers while the case is being adjudicated. Cemex said in a statement its unit Solid Cement has questioned the Trade Department’s cease-and-desist order before the Court of Appeals.
"Solid Cement stands by the quality and safety of its products," it said in a statement. It claimed that the Trade Department abused its power when it issued the stop order.
Jesus Motoomull, director of the Bureau of Product Standards, said Island cement consistently failed laboratory tests for minimum compressive strength for Portland cement, the standard measure in the Philippines. He said Island cement also failed the maximum requirement for insoluble residue and loss of ignition. "This means too much impurities are present in Island cement, compromising its strength," he said. Solid Cement is one of the five largest cement producers in the country with an annual capacity of 2.23Mt.