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 Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

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

“And we actually appealed to the courts to please allow us to proceed with implementation or enforcement of these standards so that we can provide consumer protection, but these cases are still pending.”

The injunction on steel standards was issued earlier this year after a request from 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 in the list of products that must be certified to have met quality standards, requiring all manufacturers to secure a Philippine Standard safety certification mark license before selling their products.

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

The order was designed to improve the quality of both locally manufactured and imported products and ensure consumer safety, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said.

An injunction in 2019 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 last year was also restored to the list of products that must be certified for quality. But the mandatory certification for imported plywood has been put on hold to 2022 after a request from an industry group to be given more time, citing pandemic-related restrictions. — Jenina P. Ibañez

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