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Bill Passed to Probe Substandard Steel Products in Philippines

Steel News - Published on Mon, 07 Oct 2019

Image Source: Manila Times
Manila Times reported that a bill was filed on October 3 directing the House Committee on Trade and Industry to investigate the alleged smuggling and proliferation of substandard steel products in the Philippines resulting from a collusion between large steelmakers and officials of the Department of Trade and Industry and the Bureau of Customs. House Bill (HB) 379, filed by Agusan del Norte First District Rep. Lemuel Fortun, urged the committee to look into the alleged connivance between the government and the biggest big steel manufacturer in the country, which is headed by a former undersecretary of the DTI.

Fortun’s bill is anchored on fears expressed over the past two years by consumer groups, specifically buyers of high-rise condominiums all over the country, over reports of continued selling of sub-standard steel rebars by the big steel firms that may render thousands of high-rise structures unsafe during a high-intensity earthquakes.

In drafting the bill, Mr Fortun expressed suspicion that the collapse of the four-story supermarket in Porac, Pampanga during the 6.1 magnitude earthquake last April that killed five people and injured nine, “was due to the use of Quenched Steel bars used in constructing the building.

Noting that the bill seeks to protect consumers from trade malpractices and from substandard or hazardous products,” Fortun said the committee needs to determine the veracity of various reports to protect the welfare of the Filipino consumers, plug holes in the government revenue streams, clamp down on corruption and, if warranted, exact accountability on public officials involved in the aforesaid unscrupulous acts.”

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Posted By : Sanju Moirangthem on Mon, 07 Oct 2019
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