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The Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) on Friday urged the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to fine-tune rules on product standards.
In a statement, FPI chairman Jesus Arranza said consumers are at greater risk of buying substandard goods amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Arranza pointed out that the DTI-Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) should have “clearer and stricter provisions on the implementation and monitoring of products currently falling under "mandatory" and "voluntary" standards.
He added that if there is no strict implementation of mandatory standards, local manufacturers might also lower their production standards to cut costs and be able to compete with the imported substandard goods.
The FPI chief said the group is asking for a meeting with BPS to present their proposals in the rules governing product standards.
Among the refinements that FPI proposes include making all existing standard mandatory and will be subject to strict inspection in factories and monitoring in the marketplace and canceling of licenses of importers that were found to be bringing substandard goods.
FPI also suggests suspension of operations for manufacturers producing substandard goods at a volume that can be deemed as no longer accidental on first offense and closure for repeat offenders.
For retailers, Arranza said authorities should immediately seize the substandard goods they are selling on the first offense.
“If they repeat the violation, their stores should be padlocked by the authorities,” he added.
FPI also wants retailers to secure the certification from their suppliers to ensure that their products have passed the government’s standards.
“We have to be very strict in the implementation, inspection, and monitoring of product standards. It is not an unfair competition since the standards will be enforced on both imported and locally produced products,” Arranza said. (PNA)