Technological advancement continues to improve the lives of millions of people around the world. Work gets done faster and resources are utilized more efficiently. These innovations are guided by standards that provide the framework needed to ensure constant growth and improvement. These standards form the backbone of technologies that contribute to the overall reliability and effectiveness of goods and services. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) /International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) define a standard as a document, established by consensus and approved by a recognized body that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context.

Under the Republic Act No. 4109 also known as the Standardization Law of the Philippines, the Department of Trade and Industry’s Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS) supports industries and protects consumers’ welfare through the development and promulgation, implementation and coordination of standardization activities in the Philippines.

The development of these standards are guided by the Directives Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 issued by DTI- PS on the principles of standardization, the organization and responsibilities of technical committees, the procedures of technical work, and the structure and drafting of Philippine National Standard. These directives are issued as guides in the development of these standards. Standards not only provide numerous benefits to individuals by ensuring that the products in the market are safe and reliable, it also promotes business and economic growth as it saves companies’ production time and money, enhances customer satisfaction and increases productivity and competitive advantages. The presence of standards in international market means countries can facilitate in trading goods and eliminate unnecessary barriers to trade. Standards also serve as vehicles for the transfer and application of technology from one country to another. Standards are prepared either through the Technical Committee (TC) Method or the Fast Track method. Standards prepared through the Technical Committee method undergo a series of deliberations and consultations from concerned stakeholders. In order to achieve the purpose of standardization, transparency and consensus, a technical committee is composed of representatives from several sectors including academe, trade/industry, consumer association, professional, association, research institution, Government agencies and testing institution.

The development process for Philippine National Standards (PNS) follows a sequence of stages with corresponding document associated in each of the stages. Proposal stage (New Work Item Proposal), Committee stage (Committee Draft PNS), Circulation/Enquiry Stage (Draft PNS), Finalization/ Approval Stage (Final Draft PNS), Publication Stage (PNS). Standards may also be prepared through the Fast Track method. In this process, International Standards shall be given priority. Fast Track procedure for standards development may be applied to international standards which are basic and can be used in standards development such as Guide, Terminology, Vocabulary, Classification and Symbol. This procedure may also be applied for International Standards which at the time of development has been circulated for comments to all sectors concerned.

Similarly, this procedure applies to standards developed by other Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs) whose procedures follow the DTI-BPS Directives. Consistent with its mandated roles and functions, the DTI-BPS shall prioritize standards of national significance such as life, health, safety, national economy and property, environment and efficient use of local resources. With that in mind, the BPS has listed priority areas for standards development and are guided by the Philippine Development Plan (2011-2016); Investment Priorities Plan (IPP); international commitments in the World Trade Organization and WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and the ASEAN priorities and work programs under APEC; and standards for products affecting safety for consumer protection.

As of May 2016, there are 9,678 Philippine National Standards developed or adopted, 7,704 (79.60%) of which are already aligned to International Standards. As the National Standards Body of the Philippines, the DTI-BPS is tasked to develop/adopt, implement and promote Philippine National Standards (PNS) as mandated in the Republic Act (RA) 4109 Series of 1964.

The DTI-BPS is the Philippines’ member to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). For more info on standards and standardization activities, call the DTI-BPS at 751.4730 or visit the Standards and Conformance Portal –