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Gov’t putting hollow blocks under stricter regulations

AJ Bajo

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President Rodrigo Duterte has mandated the inclusion of hollow blocks in the list of products required to undergo mandatory certification.

The government said it will impose stricter regulations on hollow blocks following the impact of recent series of earthquakes on infrastructure.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Thursday said president Rodrigo Duterte in a cabinet meeting “mandated” the inclusion of hollow blocks in the list of products required to undergo mandatory certification under the DTI-Bureau of Philippine Standards.

The trade agency said the move takes into account the quality of hollow blocks circulating in the market, some of which “may not follow standard processes and specifications needed in production” particularly those produced by small hollow block makers.

The DTI also said the president ordered local government units and contractors to ensure that construction materials to be used in construction activities passed quality standards.

“The quality of any building structure depends not only on the product standards, but also on the quality of the construction job, particularly on adherence to approved structural design and the Building Code, required steel density, cement mixtures, among others,” DTI secretary Ramon Lopez said in a statement.

The government under Duterte has intensified regulations on several construction materials.

In October, the DTI said it is also mulling over putting plywood back to the list of products for mandatory certification after imports of the product surged nearly four times since it was removed from the list in 2015.

The DTI is also working on a draft department administrative order for ceramic tiles. It has so far issued new technical guidelines for the regulation of black iron and galvanized iron steel pipes and steel sheets.

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