Issue of November 3, 2019
     
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DTI consults stakeholders on entry of imported plywood
by DTI release

The Department of Trade and Industry recently consulted plywood industry stakeholders to get their inputs about the influx of plywood in the country.

Plywood imports, which are not tested for quality, grew almost four times from 2015 to 2019.

If needed, the agency will draft a department administrative order to reinstate plywood in the list of products under mandatory certification.

DTI Sec. Ramon Lopez said the objective is to ensure safety for the consumers and eliminate the sale of substandard plywood products in the market.

During the 2nd Consumer Congress recently, Lopez said that substandard plywood is “unfair to all of us” and are threatening both public safety and the local manufacturing industry.

“We saw the numbers in plywood. In a three-year period since plywood was removed from the list in 2015, imports have rapidly increased and these are not tested for standard compliance. It’s good if these products comply with the standards,” Lopez said.

According to the Bureau of Philippine Standards, plywood imports from January to June 2015 reached 8,624 metric tons, worth around $4.5 million.

In the same period this year, plywood imports have quadrupled to 32,768 MT, worth around $12.75M.

A total of 194,826 MT of plywood, worth $75.58 million was imported from July 2015 to June 2019.

“We are adding more products in the mandatory compliance since many of them were released from the list. Since then, we saw import surges of these products. And since they are not subjected to mandatory test, substandard products can come in,” he said.

He noted that since substandard plywood can be sold at a very low price, local manufacturers may be forced to sell at a loss or stop operations.

This, in turn, may shrink the country’s manufacturing base and widen the trade deficit.

Lopez called on consumer groups to join the DTI in pushing for mandatory compliance standards to protect the consumers and local manufacturers.


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