Former Solon Accuses Steel Manufacturers Of Dilatory Tactics

“Nililihis nila ang usapan. Iniiba nila ang topic samantala simple lang naman ang tanong (They are veering away from the topic). They want the discussions to be technical when I only need a yes or no answer. Are quenched steel rebars safe to use in a seismic zone 4 country like the Philippines?”

In 2010, Engineer Emilio Morales presented the study “A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER 2 – THE USE OF QT OR TMT BARS IN SEISMIC ZONE 4” where he said that QT/TMT rebars behave quite differently under Cyclic loading or earthquake shaking and are also very much affected by heating, welding, bending, galvanizing and threading procedures employed in their use particularly in high rise buildings under Seismic Zone 

Since then, the Association of the Structural Engineers (ASEP) maintained its position that QT/TMT rebars would be subject to strict prohibitions when used in critical buildings and infrastructures. However, in a later position paper, the ASEP Board stated that the use of QT/TMT rebars is subject to and should be consistent with the NSCP 2015 Code Prohibitions but on the last part stated that “QT/TMT rebars could be used for all buildings including high rises” without any qualifications.

Senator Coseteng countered by asking “What restrictions?” Additionally, before the end of the ASEP position paper, it was said that it’s safe to use in all buildings. This contradictory paper was brought up numerous times by presenters, but has yet to be answered. If they are safe, why all the secrecy? The steel can be subjected to failure in 500 degrees centigrade. In the case of a fire or earthquake in Seismic Zone 4, can they allow for adequate evacuation time? Can the safety of the general public, not limited to consumers, be insured? In cases of extreme fire or heavy earthquakes, can the steel hold up long enough for evacuation? Yes or no lang ang sagot.”

The steel manufacturers have yet to come up with a categorical answer supported by evidence or proof to say that QT/TMT rebars are safe to use in high rises in the event of an intensity 7 earthquake.

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