By Elijah Felice Rosales, June 11 2019; Business Mirror

Image Credit to Business Mirror

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is tightening its standard certification procedures as part of efforts to rid the market of substandard products.

In a draft Department Administrative Order (DAO), the DTI’s Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS) will roll out a new Philippine Standard (PS) mark in the form of a holographic sticker. This will come with security features identifiable only by the government, the prescribed PS logo, a unique serial number and a quick response code.

“For a more stringent control of the use of the PS mark, the PS mark stickers shall only be purchased at the BPS or DTI regional and provincial offices,” the draft DAO read.

All PS license holders are also mandated under the proposed order to buy PS mark stickers. However, they must affix this only on products covered by a valid PS license before market distribution and selling.

The DTI-BPS said there is a need to change the procedures, as the existing policy permits manufacturers to print the PS mark on products not included in the scope of certification of their PS licenses.

This, the trade body stated, is prone to abuse. Unscrupulous people trying to imitate the PS mark can print it and affix it to products not certified by the DTI-BPS.

“The existing policy also provides opportunity to manufacturers with suspended, expired or canceled  license to continue to operate and produce covered products and use the PS mark since the same is not traceable once the products are placed in the market,” the draft DAO read.

The DTI-BPS said it has to establish strict control over the use of the PS mark by making sure the certification is issued only to legitimate PS license holders. It added the change in procedures should preserve the integrity of the government’s standard certification.

Industry associations, such as the Philippine Iron and Steel Institute (Pisi), have been appealing to the government to do a nationwide market monitoring and standards enforcement campaign.

Pisi Vice President for Technical Affairs Joel T. Ronquillo in April said market monitoring teams should conduct an actual weighing of steel bars to determine compliance to safety and quality standards, as well as checking of logos and marks. He also put the government to task in going after stores and manufacturers found violating laws on product standards and fair trade.

In an earlier report to the DTI, Pisi claimed substandard steel bars are being sold in several hardware stores in the Cordilleras.

Pisi recommended the DTI to make stringent its standard certification procedures to stop the proliferation of low-grade rebars. In response, the trade body vowed to heighten efforts that will uphold product standards and protect consumers.