Ladies and gentlemen. Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat!

We’d like to congratulate the Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) of the Consumer Protection Group (CPG) for the opening of your Steel and Ceramic Tiles Testing Laboratory which would help you to continue providing quality testing services to the public. Furthermore, it will sustain your mission to revive your testing capabilities, as well as aid you in your efforts to reacquire your ISO/ IEC 17025 (or International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission) accreditation.

As we inaugurate this Steel and Ceramic Tiles Testing Laboratory, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) would like to thank our legislators who have continually supported the goals of DTI: Senator Bong Go; House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Wes Gatchalian, who was also the Trade and Industry Committee chair; and the current House Trade and Industry Committee Chair Navotas Congressman John Rey Tiangco. 

Allow me also to thank our partners from the private sector who made the setting up of this new laboratory possible—the Philippine Iron and Steel Institute (PISI) and Ceramic Manufacturers Association Inc. (CMAI). Thank you for working with us on establishing this laboratory. This collaboration highlights the importance of the public and private sectors in working together to achieve our objective of ensuring standard compliance and consumer safety at all times. This facility will add testing capacity that are now done mostly by third-party private sector testing labs.

As part of the BPS Testing Laboratory (BPSTL), the steel and ceramic tiles testing facilities being launched today will support our recovery efforts amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. For one, as our industries rev up once more to boost our economic recovery, these facilities will strengthen our steel and ceramic tiles industries and ensure that only quality and standard-compliant construction steel products and ceramic tiles are made available in the local market.

With greater testing capabilities, we should be able to minimize substandard products in the market. This should likewise encourage more investments in more competitive and smart manufacturing operations using modern technologies that will guarantee high-quality products at all times.

Of course, this new lab will also contribute in supporting the Duterte administration’s massive “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program. BPS has ensured that they are equipped with the capabilities to test products under the Mandatory Product Certification Schemes as part of Project STRIDE (or Standards, Testing and Regulation for Industry Development and Enhanced Consumer Protection).

And for this year, BPS is prioritizing the establishment of more testing facilities for construction materials in line with the “Build, Build, Build” program and ensuing countryside development. These construction products include steel, ceramic tiles, cement, hollow blocks, and flat glass. Thank you to our esteemed development partners in Congress for giving us the necessary support to our project STRIDE that will redound to consumer safety and greater welfare.

We’d also like to mention that Project STRIDE will support the BPSTL’s reaccreditation to ISO/ IEC 17025, as mentioned previously. This is highly significant for our exports by facilitating the trade of Philippine products tested by BPSTL since retesting will no longer be required upon entry to the country of export.

Speaking of exports, we’d like to point out how the testing by the BPSTL can support our micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in making them more competitive. By conducting product testing as per the relevant Philippine National Standards (or PNS), the BPSTL can assist our MSMEs in developing products whose qualities are on par with the world. Our dream is to make Philippine products synonymous to quality—part of our Philippine quality infrastructure objectives. Gawang Pilipinas, gawang dekalidad.

To conclude, what matters most in the end is to make our industries, including the MSMEs, much stronger and more competitive. One that can lead to a stronger brand equity for the Philippines, greater consumer and business confidence that can attract more investments, jobs, and more production capacities. This is the only way we can build a modern and competitive industrial sector for the local and export markets.

Supporting investments in every way the government can is the only way we can expand our modern production capacity to have a sustainable supply also for exports and reduce imports, and this is the only solution to solving our perennial trade deficit. This is the way if we want to build back better in a post-pandemic future, a future that will help us ensure that tomorrow will be safe and secure for all Filipino families.

Again, congratulations to BPS on the launch of these facilities,.

Maraming salamat po at mabuhay tayong lahat!

Date of Release: 21 July 2021