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CeMAP pushes buy local program

A GROUP of local cement manufacturers has challenged Philcement Corporation to clarify if its products are manufactured in the Philippines or not.

The call was issued by the Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (CeMAP).

“CeMAP simply wants to know if all of Philcement’s products are indeed manufactured in the Philippines as indicated on their cement bags,” the group said in a statement.

“This question needs to be answered by Philcement and requires a thorough investigation by concerned government offices,” it added, underscoring the need for appropriate label for local products to ensure that only goods made in the Philippines will benefit from the government’s “buy local” initiative.

“It is therefore imperative that products sold in the market, like cement, are appropriately labeled and represented as such,” the group insisted.

The government has revived its “buy local” program to help jumpstart the economy that has been severely hit by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

However, various consumer groups have called on the government to intensify its efforts against businessmen who might capitalize on the “buy local” products by mislabeling imported goods — such as chicken, rice, cement and other construction materials — as Philippine-made.

CeMAP brought to DTI’s attention that Philcement’s Union V Super Strength 40 cement had “Manufactured by PHILCEMENT CORPORATION” and “PRODUCT OF THE PHILIPPINES” wordings on the bags.

Philcement declared that the DTI has decided in its favor.

The group added that the move to question Philcement is part of its commitment to promote consumer welfare and protection and the overall benefit of Filipino cement consumers.