December 12, 2014

Amid tremor concerns, strict testing of local cement assures quality on par with US standards

Active Faults and Trenches with Capitals

Since a 2.7 magnitude earthquake last October, PHIVOLCS (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology) has been closely watching Metro Manila’s Valley Fault System. A major earthquake caused by the Valley Fault System will impact most of the buildings and infrastructures in Metro Manila according to PHIVOLCS.

A 7.2 magnitude quake will test the safety and quality of locally manufactured cement, the main component of concrete structures, which according to the Cement Manufacturers’ Association of the Philippines (CeMAP) undergoes strict quality control and monitoring.

CeMAP, the organization of cement manufacturers in the country, ensures consistency in the production of high quality cement and spearheads the implementation of sustainable development initiatives for the local cement enterprise.

CeMAP performs a series of tests through its Cement Testing Center (CTC) in Pasig that ensures only the highest quality cement is used by contractors and builders for the booming construction industry.

CTC, the leading and most established cement-testing laboratory in the country, performs monthly physical testing and chemical analysis of samples from each of CeMAP’s member cement companies. CTC staff tests three samples direct from the plant and two samples from retailers such as hardwares nationwide. Testing is done to determine the chemical content, compressive strength, density, consistency, fineness, and other properties of cement products being sold in the market.

CeMAP President Ernesto Ordoñez shares, “CeMAP’s monthly review and rigorous analysis of the products both from the market and direct from the plant ensures consistency in the production of high quality local cement. With the stringent testing processes that we perform on these products, the consumers can trust to get safe, top quality cement with every bag they purchase.”

Aside from complying with Philippine National Standards set by government agencies, CTC also guarantees that the products they certify are at par with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)’s standard specifications.

Ordoñez further promotes the use of local cement by stressing the advantage of having a local office in addressing any issues. “If the company has a local office, any concerns can be addressed accordingly and much faster. This is impossible to do for imported cements. The proximity of the customer to the manufacturer makes the process much easier and more efficient.”

Since causing its last major earthquake in the 16th century, PHIVOLCS believes the Valley Fault System could have a major movement anytime.

Amidst this threat, CeMAP keeps the interests of local builders, property developers, and home owners in mind. Its high standard for quality assurance among members and customers’ support system serve the infrastructure needs of a growing country that lies along active tectonic plates in the Pacific.

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