We work to eradicate unsafe and anti-poor products that cost Filipino lives.
Rural and impoverished areas are susceptible to substandard rebar. They may seem cheap but the Filipino poor end up paying dearly for the greed of the few unscrupulous. Substandard rebar are lighter, brittle, and fail below acceptable limits. Structures that should have lasted longer eventually require repair, retro-fitting or replacement, and cost more for those who can ill-afford it.
The worse-case scenario has already become a reality. The stresses of recent natural calamities such as earthquakes or typhoons collapsed structures fitted with substandard rebar, at the cost of hundreds of lives. Investigations by both local and foreign agencies revealed substandard rebar in many of the collapsed structures.
In 2013 a spike was noted: It is estimated that there was nearly 400,000 tons of substandard product that was consumed that year alone. This represents over 100,000 low cost housing units. The Philippine Iron and Steel Institute along with the full support of SteelAsia, clamored to the government that the ports were porous and the local agencies ineffective. The following year, with the vigilance of the Bureau of Customs, the CIDG and the DTI-BPS, a marked reduction in substandard products in the market was noted.
SteelAsia supports efforts to protect consumers by:
- Ensuring there are high quality products readily available at the lowest cost possible
- Providing information to the responsible agencies on activities that harm consumers
- Providing technical training and knowledge for agencies
- Assisting in government information and education campaigns for consumers
- Providing technical support during inspections
- Conducting consumer protection campaigns with distributors of rebar
- Providing consumers with information collaterals on rebar and public safety
- Assisting in the formulation of consumer protection policy
- Providing resources for logistics, collaterals and equipment needed to support consumer protection activities
The fight goes on.