Lawyer and radio broadcaster Trixie Cruz-Angeles described a new department administrative order issued by the Bureau of Philippine Standards and the Department of Trade and Industry mandating the product certification of raw materials used for roofing and general applications as “anti-poor and anti-development.”
Angeles said DTI DAO 10-20 Series of 2020 was crippling and disadvantageous to general public and non-roofing sheet users and importers.
“It seems BPS/DTI did not carefully study the impact the DAO 10-20 would bring to certain segments of the steel industry, and just issued it blindly without holding a public consultation to know the sentiment of these segments,” Angeles said.
DAO 10-20, a new technical regulation concerning the mandatory certification of hot-dipped metallic-coated and pre-painted galvanized steel coils and sheets for roofing and general applications, took effect on Jan. 13, 2021.
The DAO generally covers all spectrum of the steel industry, even those segments that do not require specific thickness of steel coil materials in their operations and business areas, she said.
Angeles asked the DTI and BPS to re-examine the policy and defer the implementation of the order for public interest.
“One way is to reconvene a transparent public hearing and institute a reconvening of the technical committee with technical experts from all sectors that are affected by this directive,” he said.
Angeleles said the new DAO was contrary to DTI’s mandate is to protect public’s interest.
“They should be transparent and fair in executing policies that are favorable to the consuming public, including small home owners constructing their dream houses who will be economically affected by the new DAO under the prevailing pandemic condition of the country,” she said.
Angeles said implementing the DAO without public consultation was tantamount to depriving the consumers of their rights to choose and put the public’s safety and protection at risk.
“It is anti-poor and only favors big steel industry players who have deep pockets and can afford to shoulder the additional costs,” she said.
Angeles said that in formulating the DAO, BPS/DTI overlooked the current situation for general purpose applications of zinc coated galvanized sheets.
Today, non-roofing users import about 15 different thicknesses and about 5 different kinds of similar coatings such as galvaneal, electrolytic galvanized, galvanize, galvalume, galvfan, galvanize and ZAM (magnesium -new technology) for different types of non-roofing end users.
The monthly consumption of all galvanized non-roofing related sheets is about 60,000 tons a month.
These non-roofing users represent industries that include the automotive, non-roofing construction, electrical, electronics, semiconductor, farm and agricultural, ice plant and storage, fisheries, poultry and hogs raisers, machineries and others.
“Many of these sectors were not properly consulted,” Angeles said.
She said the issue is that while these non-roofing users were exempted from the DAO, the DTI and BPS are still requiring them to apply for permits and documents--a laborious process that requires them to spend up to 16 hours for every shipment. It is also costly and cumbersome that requires pre-shipment inspection, she said.
Angeles said an open and public consultation should be organized by BPS and DTI.