During his two-day visit in Manila, Philippines, the Secretary-General of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Mr. Sergio Mujica, met with the Trade Committee heads of the Philippine Congress through the coordination of the Department of Trade and Industry – Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS) to discuss the importance of a sound National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) in achieving economic development in the country.

The DTI-BPS as the country’s National Standards Body, pushes for the enactment of the pending NQI bill in the Senate and is optimistic that the Secretary-General’s meetings with key legislators on trade, industry and commerce would boost the advancing of the bill into law.

Last 08 October 2018, Mr. Mujica visited, on separate occasions, Senator Aquilino “Koko” L. Pimentel III, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship and Congressman Ferjenel G. Biron, M.D., Chairman, House Committee on Trade and Industry, in their offices at the Senate in Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City and the House of Representatives in Constitution Hills, Quezon City, respectively. With the Secretary-General is the Regional Manager of ISO Regional Engagement Initiative (REI) – Asia, Mr. Kolin Low.

(from left to right) FTEB Director, Dir. Domingo R. Tolentino Jr.; BPS Assistant Director, Atty. Marimel D. Porciuncula; Regional Manager of ISO (REI) – Asia, Mr. Kolin Low; ISO Secretary-General, Mr. Sergio Mujica; Sen. Aquilino “Koko” L. Pimentel III; DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez and Director, Engr. James E. Empeño.

On his visit with Senator Pimentel, Mr. Mujica was accompanied by DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez who stressed on the importance of NQI in achieving economic development. During the meeting, Sen. Pimentel expressed his desire for the country to be known worldwide to be producing quality products and merchandise. Secretary Lopez concurred adding that the proposed NQI would further enhance the Philippines’ competitiveness economically. The DTI Secretary also introduced Senator Pimentel as the new sponsor for the NQI bill in the Senate.

Mr. Mujica reported to the Senator and the Trade Secretary that the participation of the Philippines in the standardization programs of the ISO is very limited due to lacking resources. He encouraged the DTI to prioritize increasing the participation by having Filipino Standards Professionals to join the ISO Technical Committees so the country will have better representation in the formation of International Standards.

(from left to right) ISO Secretary-General, Mr. Sergio Mujica; Committee Secretary, Mr. Valencio R. Palanca; Cong. Ferjenel G. Biron; Cong. Bayani Fernando; Regional Manager of ISO (REI) – Asia, Mr. Kolin Low; and DTI Consumer Protection Group Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo.

After his meeting with Sen. Pimentel, the Secretary-General proceeded to the House of Representatives in Quezon City together with Director James E. Empeño and Assistant Director Marimel D. Porciuncula to meet with Congressman Biron who was already with DTI Consumer Protection Group Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo. When they arrived, the ISO Secretary-General and Regional Manager were acknowledged during the ongoing session at the plenary hall of the House of Representatives.

Congressman Biron was joined with fellow legislator, Congressman Bayani Fernando in his discussions with the ISO Secretary General, Regional Manager and the DTI Officers. Cong. Fernando inquired on the comparison of ISO standards versus USA standards. Mr. Mujica explained that USA standards are formulated by the USA alone whereas ISO standards are developed by 161 member countries represented through technical committees, and thus, are more globally recognized. He also assured the Congressmen and the DTI that the ISO will support the Philippines in the implementation phase of NQI when it has successfully transformed into law. 

The courtesy visits were in preparation for the PH-ISO Dialogues on NQI which were held on 09 October 2018 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila in Pasay City. The event was organized by the DTI-BPS to communicate among stakeholders the importance and benefits of establishing a National Quality Infrastructure in the country. The DTI-BPS is the Philippine’s full member to the ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

For more information on standards and standardization, please call the DTI-BPS at 751.4740 or 751.4748 or send an email to bps@dti.gov.ph.