Trade chief defends new cement testing rules

Michelle Ong, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 20 2017 12:21 PM | Updated as of Oct 20 2017 12:37 PM

MANILA - (UPDATE) Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said on Friday that new regulations on cement testing were meant to make the movement of goods faster, as he assured consumers that quality controls were in place.

Under the new rules, imported cement can be released to the market if it passes pre-shipment tests abroad, even as post-shipment inspection in the Philippines was ongoing, Lopez said.

"As we try to ensure consumer protection, we don't want to make it difficult for legitimate and standard cement importers. We don't want to make it difficult for them, or be bureaucratic.... We also want to ease the flow of goods," Lopez said.

In the "remote possibility" that a cement brand fails the post-shipment test, the plant were it was made, manufacturer and the testing facility will be banned, he said.

If an importer fails a post-shipment test for the first time, he will not be allowed to release a second shipment unless it passes the post test, he said.

The importer will be banned if it fails the post-shipment test twice.