A local glass manufacturer asked the government to include imported flat glass in the list of products subjected to mandatory quality control to address the deteriorating quality and safety of these products.
Pioneer Float Glass Manufacturing Inc. said it was seeking the re-inclusion of flat glass in the list of mandatory standard product list amid the influx of substandard glass products.
Pioneer Float Glass vice president Nonito Galpa said the entry of substandard flat glass imports had undermined the competitiveness of the local glass industry and subjected consumers to possible threats of harm because of poor quality.
“Even products under mandatory listing would sometimes have quality and safety issues, what more for voluntary standards listing? We’ re not asking for additional favors. We support the entry of imported glass, but let us make sure that these imports are of mandatory quality,” he said.
Galpa said many of the imports did not comply with the mandatory thickness of glass. A flat glass is the semi-finished material used to make other kinds of glasses.
He said the importation of flat glass surged after the government relaxed the rules on mandatory quality control.
The Trade Department removed flat glass under the mandatory list in 2015 and placed it under voluntary list following a department review that glass products were not as life threatening as other products.
The company in coordination with the Flat Glass Alliance of the Philippines Inc. noted the urgency of subjecting the industry to mandatory standards specially at this time of the so-called “golden age” of infrastructure.
Based on industry data, Philippine consumption of flat glass is about 600 metric tons daily or 18,000 MT per month.
Domestic and imported glass have similar share of 50 percent each of the Philippine market.
Pioneer is one of the four flat glass manufacturers and is the only flat glass manufacturer using the float process.
Before the inclusion of the industry into the mandatory listing, the Asahi subsidiary had 89-percent control of the industry, but its share continued to drop with the entry of new players and more imports.
To keep up with the demands of the infrastructure sector, Pioneer plans to undertake a P5.2-billion expansion program to increase the capacity of the existing plant in Pasig City and manufacture design and architectural glasses that are environmentally sustainable.
Pioneer also exports to Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan.