Steel sheet roofing quality norms put on hold by court order

The courts have ordered a stay on the enforcement of product quality standards for steel sheet roofing, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

“Unfortunately, the courts have issued preliminary injunctions against the DTI, so our hands are now tied. We cannot enforce glass and sheet metal roofing standards because of the prohibition cases we have,” DTI Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo said in a webinar last week.

“And we’ve even appealed to the courts to allow us to continue implementing or enforcing these standards so we can provide consumer protections, but these cases are still pending.”

The ban on steel standards was issued earlier this year at the request of Galvaphil, Inc., she said in a mobile message Monday.

A DTI order that took effect in January placed galvanized steel sheet for roofing and general applications on the list of products to be certified to meet quality standards, requiring all manufacturers to obtain a Philippine Standard Certificate of Safety Certification before issuing their could sell products.

Ms Castelo said the measure will ensure that building materials are strong enough to withstand frequent storms.

The order was intended to improve the quality of both locally-manufactured and imported products and ensure consumer safety, said trade secretary Ramon M. Lopez.

A 2019 ban also halted a DTI order on mandatory certification of flat glass products after importers filed a petition.

As part of a crackdown on substandard goods, plywood was also reinstated on the list of products to be certified for quality last year. But mandatory certification for imported plywood has been delayed until 2022 after an industry group request for more time, citing pandemic-related restrictions. — Jenina P. Ibanez

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