Playing Russian Roulette

Last Friday May 11, 2018, the Department of Trade and industry’s Secretary Ramon Lopez presided over a forum of stakeholders at the BOI AVR Room where Engineer Emilio Morales presented again before the construction industry and leaders of various government agencies the study “A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER 2 - THE USE OF QT OR TMT IN SEISMIC ZONE 4”

Despite the long a detailed technical presentation on how quenched steel bars are being manufactured, the steel manufacturers failed to prove that quenched steel bars in high rises can withstand cyclic loading in the event of a severe Earthquake seismic zone 4 country such as the Philippines. No tests were presented to prove otherwise.

Furthermore, the QT/TMT rebars, according to the Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC), cannot be heated over 500 degrees centigrade and cannot be butt welded. 

Senator Nikki Coseteng, who was present in the forum and who represented herself as a concerned consumer, reiterated her need for a clear and categorical answer from the steel manufacturers that QT/TMT rebars are safe to use in high rises in Seismic Zone 4. She also wants the steel manufacturers to submit proof of tests done to substantiate such claim.

“In the meantime, while further tests are being done, the use of this rebar in high rises continue unabated to the detriment of public safety. It’s just like playing Russian Roulette”, she further added.

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