The construction sector is one of the hardest hit industries in the Philippines. The lockdown from the pandemic directly reduced construction activity in the country as workers could not report to workplaces due to restrictions that hindered mobility and travel. The construction industry suffered the brunt of the pandemic. It was one of the biggest contributors to the economic decline in 2020. Construction activity fell 25.3 percent last year. The slump meant more workers were out of work and led directly to lower household expenses. The sector therefore needs all the support it can get from the government. However, the latest regulations from the Department of Commerce and Industry are not helping the industry. Rollers and roofing manufacturers do not endorse the latest technical regulations recently issued by the Bureau of Philippine Standards and the Department of Industry. The administrative ordinance (DAO) of a department prescribes the product certification of raw materials for roofs and general applications with effect from January 13, 2021. Manufacturers and importers of roofing items in the country state that the order will lead to an undersupply of the materials necessary to complete residential projects and major government infrastructure projects. The DAO covers metallic coated and pre-painted coils and sheets made of galvanized steel for roofs and general applications. The DTI defended the contract, stating that it strictly wanted to ensure that hot-dip metal coated and pre-painted galvanized steel coils and sheets for roofing and general applications made, imported, sold or distributed in the Philippines meet the stated quality requirements. The DAO covers the following technical regulations: PNS 1990-2004: Hot-dip coils and blades made of galvanized carbon steel: PNS 2003-2004: Continuous hot-dip coils and blades made of zinc-coated steel with 5% aluminum alloy; PNS 1993-2004: Continuous hot dipping aluminum / galvanized steel sheet with commercial, drawing and structural properties; and PNS 201 1990: Pre-painted coils and sheets made of galvanized steel. Roofing materials manufacturers and importers are confused by DTI’s rush to implement the DAO. They fear that the regulation will lead to market distortions that lead to supply bottlenecks and an increase in the prices of steel sheets and coils. Representatives of the steel industry immediately turned to the DTI and looked for sufficient time to adapt and adapt the new requirements and standards and to dispose of all incoming steel coils and sheets. Local manufacturers either booked or ordered steel coils and sheets for roofs before DAO 20-10, Series 2020 came into force. The industry added that shipments scheduled to arrive between January and April 2021 would not meet the minimum total coating thickness of 0.4mm and coating mass requirements as stated in the new order, as PNS 67: 2014 is used as the reference standard. The DTI finally granted the steel industry’s appeal to give them enough time to comply with the new technical regulation. However, the department issued additional regulations requiring importers of roofing materials to submit a variety of documents and certifications before releasing the shipments. The new requirements are strange. The incoming shipments have already followed the legal import process. The importers of roofing materials now have to submit a total of 24 documents so that their shipments can be approved. This is a clear sign of bureaucracy in BPS and DTI. Metal roofs, or “yero” popularly, are the most popular option for residential roofs in the country. The life expectancy of metal roofs is more than three times the durability of asphalt shingles. The new DTI DAO contributes to the persistently high raw material costs, including the yero price. The regulation affects the quality of roofing materials, which should be sold thinner yet at a high price that poor families, especially in this pandemic, could not afford. It seems that the DTI is not in a position to issue new technical regulations that impede socio-economic progress. E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]
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