In a significant academic contribution, Mr. Marlon Alap Macadamia, Supervising Trade and Industry Development Specialist at the DTI-Philippine Accreditation Bureau (PAB), has shed new light on enhancing the Philippines' agricultural exports through laboratory accreditation and mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs).

His study, titled "The Effect of Mutual Recognition Arrangements on Agricultural Exports of the Philippines: The Role of Laboratory Accreditation," completed as part of his Master of Arts in International Development degree at the International University of Japan in August 2023, showcases how accredited conformity assessment and MRAs, if properly utilized, can be a remarkable tool to help the agriculture sector. This same study has also been recently published on the Public Sector Assurance website as the first-ever research study contribution from the Philippines to support the Public Sector Assurance Organization in providing examples that demonstrate how quality infrastructure supports policy objectives.

What are the key findings?

Mr. Macadamia's research underscores the critical role that accredited agricultural laboratories play in facilitating trade. Utilizing a modified gravity model and panel data estimations, he investigated how MRAs affect bilateral trade flows. The study's results show clear indications that accredited laboratory services, which adhere to international standards for product safety and quality, significantly boost the export of agricultural products. Moreover, mutual recognition arrangements that support accredited laboratory services are instrumental in promoting the export of agricultural goods. This is especially crucial as global agricultural trade policies increasingly emphasize sustainable development.

The study also recognizes that one of the primary challenges faced by developing countries, including the Philippines, is overcoming non-tariff measures (NTMs) that hinder market access. The Philippines, with its limited number of accredited testing laboratories, struggles to meet the stringent import standards imposed by developed nations, thereby limiting its export growth. Accredited laboratories play a crucial role in ensuring product quality and compliance with international standards. However, their scarcity in the Philippines poses a significant obstacle to international trade, impacting the agricultural sector’s contribution to our economy.

What are the policy implications?

The study highlights that laboratory accreditation can bridge technical gaps and establish a high reputation for Philippine agricultural products, thereby promoting confidence in international trade.

Mr. Macadamia's research aligns with the mandate of the Philippine Accreditation Bureau (PAB), which is to promote quality infrastructure essential for both domestic market operations and international market access. Quality infrastructure, including metrology, standardization, accreditation, conformity assessment, and market surveillance, is crucial for the effective functioning of markets.

Mr. Macadamia's study offers valuable insights into how the Philippines can enhance its agricultural exports through robust laboratory accreditation and MRAs. By aligning with international standards, the Philippines can overcome significant trade barriers, which will boost the agricultural sector's contribution to the national economy.

For more detailed information, you may download the paper by visiting the Public Sector Assurance website at

More about our DTI-PAB scholar

Mr. Marlon A. Macadamia, RCh, MA, through the Department of Trade and Industry, was a recipient of “The Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship (formerly Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS)),” which aims to support human resource development in Japanese grant aid recipient countries. According to its website:, “JDS Project targets highly capable young officials (mainly government) who are expected to engage in implementing social and economic development plans as future leaders. JDS Fellows are also expected to contribute to enhanced bilateral relations between their countries and Japan, with well-rounded knowledge of Japan.”

When asked about how he came up with the topic for his study, Mr. Marlon A. Macadamia explained, “My thesis combines my work experience and firm belief in the role of accreditation and mutual recognition to improve industries and economies. Its goal is to provide a practical guide for increasing the global success of Philippine agricultural exports through effective use of laboratory accreditation and mutual recognition agreements. By implementing these strategies, we can help ensure our agricultural products meet international standards and obtain more acceptability in global markets.”

Release Date: 01 July 2024

Related Links
Other Resources 
Public Sector Assurance