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PH industries may intervene in glass standards dispute

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By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI), which groups domestic industry associations, is planning to file for an intervention in the mandatory standards on flat glass imposed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), but which had been issued injunction orders by two lower courts in Makati and Pasig.

In a press conference, FPI President Jesus Arranza said their lawyers are studying the plan to file as an intervenor against the injunction stressing substandard glass is life threatening as with other major construction materials such as cement and steel.

Arranza, however, said that a consumer group called United Filipino Consumers and Commuters was also planning to file as an intervenor.

Arranza explained that the mandatory standards certification on glass products issued by the DTI under Department Administrative Order (DAO) 190-05 did not violate any right of any individual nor restrain trade.

“There is no hindrance for you to import glass, but you need to follow the mandatory standards,” he said noting that the DTI order did not exempt anyone but covers all importers and manufacturers alike.

If there is anyone whose right has been infringed by the injunction, Arranza said, it is the right of Pioneer Float Glass Manufacturing, Inc. (PFGMI), formerly Asahi Glass Philippines, the country’s lone integrated glass manufacturing company. Glass had been listed in the mandatory product standards and inspection by the Bureau of Products in 2015 but was delisted during the port congestion.

Since then, the standards certification on glass has become voluntary.
Under the DAO, all importers and manufacturers of glass starting August 9 would be required to submit certificate of exemption from mandatory certification subject to the submission of some requirements. Starting May 9, 2020, all glass products covered by the DAO shall be distributed in the local market shall bear the PS mark. Compliance therewith shall be verified through the conduct of market monitoring and enforcement activities. The DAO, however, could not be implemented as traders were able to get injunction order from the courts in Makati and Pasay.

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