Jul 282016

MANILA, Philippines – The Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (CeMAP) is urging the government to immediately take actions on the growing presence of substandard cement in the country.

CeMAP president Ernesto Ordoñez said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has yet to submit as promised an action plan to address cement cases “which have been threatening people’s lives for over 10 months now.”

“I was hopeful that with the commitment of the DTI to submit an action plan that would stop the distribution of dangerous cement, long delayed measures would be finally put in place,” Ordoñez said.

“However, weeks have passed since the July 8 deadline and still no submission. This shows a total disregard of the commitment DTI made at the Ombudsman’s office last June 29,” he added.

Ordoñez said the Ombudsman arranged a meeting between the private and public sector last June 29 to address the local cement industry’s concerns.

CeMAP last month expressed alarm over the rising cases of technical smuggling in the local cement industry which it said could easily escalate into something more dangerous if not addressed immediately.

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Ordoñez reckoned that about 75 percent of the 161,000 metric tons (MT) of imported cement that went into the country in the first quarter of the year were technically smuggled.

Last week, the National Consumer Affairs Council (NCAC) raised concern on the presence of contaminated cement in the local market.

NCAC chairman Jose Paredes Pepito said some 150,000 bags of cement contaminated by seawater has entered the Philippines.

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