Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said the government would require preshipment and postshipment testing of cement imports amid an ongoing feud between cement manufacturers and traders.
This comes as a draft department order has sparked an ongoing debate among manufacturers and traders regarding the pros and cons of preshipment inspection, which is considered a substitute for testing products upon arrival in the Philippines.
Lopez told reporters in a recent interview that the consultations would continue to get the comments of both sides, but that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) was leaning toward conducting both kinds of inspection “even if there is an economic logic” in favor of just preshipment testing.
“One thing that is clear is that we would remove the distinction between manufacturers and importers, so that everyone would undergo product testing. We are looking at preshipment and post-shipment,” he said.
Previously, he said the preshipment inspection was proposed “to solve operational delays” while ensuring that the products comply with the country’s standards. The current draft says there will still be checks on the shipment upon arrival but this is merely for “verification.”
Explaining his decision to go for both kinds of testing, he said this was “so that no one would raise questions and say we are favoring some people.”
To recall, in separate letters addressed to the DTI, several cement manufacturers urged the government to require both manufacturers and traders to have imported cement tested at the port, instead of relying on preshipment inspection, since this might risk consumer safety.
On the other hand, the Philippine Cement Importers Association pushed for preshipment inspection, saying it was consistent with international standards and that “it prevents poor quality products from reaching the country.”
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