Philippines: consumers complain over quality and prices

Philippines: consumers complain over quality and prices

The National Consumer Affairs Council (NCAC) has called on the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) to take action on complaints about substandard cement entering the market, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reports.

Chair of the NCAC, Jose Pepito, said: “This complaint has been there for a long time, so I’m wondering why nothing has been done about it,” he said in an interview with the Inquirer. “Many consumers may not be aware of the problem because they are not technically knowledgeable. So what is the government doing about it?”

These complaints echo those of the Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines, whose President, Ernesto Ordoñez, accused the DTI of “gross incompetence and possible criminal negligence” for failing to prevent sub-standard cement from reaching the market.

Meanwhile, Kilusan Kontra Katiwalian at Kabulukan (4K), a group that campaigns for better practices in the mining industry, called on the government investigate the recent surge in the retail price of cement.

According to the Manila Times, 4K’s secretary-general, Rodel Pineda, described local manufacturers as operating a cartel and highlighted the impact of cement shortages in some areas of the country.