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Matter of national importance

05:05 AM October 11, 2017

We thank Agham (Advocates of Science and Technology for the People) for taking up the cudgels for the local steel manufacturers in our fight against substandard imported steel (“Support local steel industry,” 9/20/2017). Indeed, the quality of imported steel is a major concern for the government because substandard ones jeopardize the safety of the public.

As the government carries out its mandate to ensure the quality and safety of imported materials, rebar included, we would like to share relevant information to help the buying public be more aware of standards related to quality rebar.

Unlike imported rebar, locally manufactured ones undergo stringent testing to ensure that their quality adhere to the Philippine National Standards (PNS) set for a seismic region such as the Philippines. The first sign of quality is the logo stamped on each rebar. The website of the Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) carries a list of approved logos—meaning, these manufacturers have been green-lighted by BPS to sell rebar. Hardware stores and other resellers would also have posters of these logos displayed in their areas.

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Other telling signs of quality are not readily visible to the naked eye and the consumer would have to physically examine the rebar. First, there is the issue of underweight or undersized rebar. There are imported rebar that are sold as a size or grade higher than their actual specification. When buying rebar, the customer may ask the supplier (eg. the hardware store) to weigh the rebar and check the figures against the tags. Quality rebar are also not easily bent with just one’s bare hands. PNS dictates that rebar pass mechanical and chemical tests that assure consumers that the rebar will withstand a certain level of stress (eg. tremors during earthquakes).

While the consumer ought to consider locally manufactured rebar over its imported counterpart owing to safety and quality issues, the choice between these two is also a matter of national importance. Locally manufactured rebar equals more jobs for our countrymen. SteelAsia alone has around 3,000 direct hires and 15,000 more are employed in support industries. Filipino investors who pour money into local production facilities also contribute to the development of the country’s very own industrial sector.

Indeed, locally manufactured steel produced through the most modern technology and passing the highest standards of quality is the Filipino consumer’s best choice.

MA. TERESA L. PACIS, AVP, corporate communication, SteelAsia

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TAGS: Agham, imported steel, Inquirer letters, Ma. Teresa L. Pacis, Philippine National Standards, Philippine steel industry, rebars, reinforcement bars
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