DTI to regulate flat glass as safety fears aired

THE government will again regulate flat glass under the draft department administrative order (DAO) of the country’s trade agency, following calls from business leaders to do so.

In a draft DAO awaiting comments from stakeholders, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued new technical regulations for mandatory Philippine Standard (PS) licensing scheme covering glass products. The rules apply to locally produced and imported flat glass, heat-strengthened and full-tempered flat glass, glass in building and bent glass.

The DAO’s objective is “to strictly ensure that glass products meet the specified safety and quality requirements” prescribed by the DTI’s Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS). The issuance of the DAO came after business leaders pushed for the mandatory product testing of flat glass.

In a column in the BusinessMirror in July, Federation of Philippine Industries Chairman Jesus L. Arranza, said local firms are concerned  over the noninclusion of flat glass in the list of products covered by  mandatory standard.

The DTI made it voluntary on the basis that the product is not life-threatening, he added.

“Candidly, I am perplexed at the DTI’s view that flat glass is not a life-threatening product. In some ways, the DTI might be correct, provided that all flat glass being sold are compliant [with] established product standards,” Arranza said.

“But even in highly industrialized nations where mandatory product standards on thousands of products are strictly being observed, deaths and injuries caused by falling glass panels are still happening,” he argued.

Obligatory tests

Under the DAO, flat glass manufacturers are obliged to test specific number of samples of their products depending on volume. For up to 20,000 metric tons (MT), five units of flat glass will be tested, and the whole set shall be rejected if two units fail.

For up to 40,000 MT, eight units will be reviewed, and the entire volume shall be rejected if two fail. Sampling lots shall be randomly selected, the DAO read.

If the shipment, lot or batch is rejected, the manufacturer or importer shall, at its own expense, destroy the substandard product or return it to its country of origin. It should be done in the presence of a DTI authorized representative and other relevant government agencies.

The DTI’s BPS is awaiting comments, suggestions and inputs from stakeholders regarding the provisions of the draft DAO. The government will begin finalizing it by December 21.

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