The Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines asked the government to launch a more thorough investigation on the origin of a cement brand, which the group said is being marketed as a legitimate Philippine product.
The group said it sought the assistance of the government in early 2020 to verify if cement products Union V Super and Union V Ultra were indeed manufactured in the Philippines as indicated by the labels on the company’s cement bags.
Union V Super and Union V Ultra are brands of Philcement Corp., a unit of the Phinma Group of Companies.
The case was brought to the attention of the Department of Trade and Industry on Jan. 28, 2020. CeMAP alleged a case of possible non-compliance with the Mandatory Certification of Portland Cement of DAO 17-06 against Philcement.
“This concern is in line with our commitment to work with all stakeholders in promoting consumer welfare and protection as part of our advocacy and for the safety and overall benefit of Filipino cement consumers,” CeMAP said in a statement.
It said Philcement was a legitimate importer of cement constantly supporting the call of the government to advance activities in the construction and infrastructure sector.
CeMA, however, said Philcement’s products were not compliant to the law as evidenced by recent market monitoring report that showed the products lacking PS License Number on the bag.
This was denied by Philcement which asserted its full compliance to the regulation of the DTI particularly on the guidelines cited in Department Administrative Order 17-06 or the mandatory certification of cement plants. In a statement, Philcement said it was granted the required certifications by the DTI Philippine Standard Quality Certification Mark in December 2019.
CeMAP said it observed an emerging trend of cement importers passing off their products as made in the Philippines.
It said that Batch Identification Numbers and Manufacturing Dates—labels required by the Philippine National Standard through DAO 17-06 were not clearly visible to consumers.
“CeMAP strongly advocates the provision of accurate information to the public to facilitate sound choice and the proper exercise of consumer rights. To enable faster economic recovery, the government is promoting use of locally manufactured products to preserve jobs and make the most of the multiplier effect and contribution of domestic manufacturing activities to the Philippine economy. It is therefore imperative that products sold in the market, like cement, are appropriately labeled and represented as such,” said CeMAP.
Philcement said CeMap statements involving Union Cement Super were contrary to the ruling of the DTI, and thus malicious and irresponsible.