This November 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the inclusion of hollow blocks to the Department of Trade and Industry-Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS) list of products under mandatory certification.
According to DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, the Cabinet deliberated on the impact of the recent series of earthquakes and the measures moving forward during their meeting. One of the concerns raised by President Duterte was the quality of hollow blocks, noting many small hollow block makers may not follow standard processes and specifications needed in production. President Duterte also ordered that all local government units and contractors should ensure that all construction materials being used in any construction activity must pass quality standards.
In line with this, the DTI-BPS adopts the following international standards on masonry units as Philippine National Standards (PNS):
- PNS ASTM C90:2019 w/ Amd. 1:2019 Standard Specification for Loadbearing Concrete Masonry Units
- PNS ASTM C129:2019 w/ Amd. 1:2019 Standards Specification for Nonloadbearing Concrete Masonry Units
- PNS ASTM C140/C140M:2019 Standard Test Methods for Sampling and Testing Concrete Masonry Units and Related Units.
These standards cancel and replace PNS 16:1984 Specification for Concrete Hollow Blocks. These standards provide requirements and test methods for loadbearing and nonloadbearing units that shall impact the Philippine concrete industry and ultimately the Philippine construction industry. These standards also contribute to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (UNSDG) 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, UNSDG 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, and UNSDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production.
In addition, these standards are part of the DTI-Consumer Protection Group’s Breakthrough Goals for 2019 on the Adoption of Standards for Consumer Products.
The DTI-BPS is the National Standards Body of the Philippines. It is the country’s member to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).