The three pillars of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) along with other concerned agencies convened to bring forth a common understanding of this institutional framework during the “Awareness Webinar on the National Quality Infrastructure for PAB Council Members and Other Concerned Government Agencies” held on 25 May 2021, 01:30-04:30 PM (Manila Time) via Videoconferencing. 

The webinar came about after the 16th Philippine Accreditation Bureau (PAB) Council meeting, where the council members agreed that an awareness seminar is needed to be done to gather the concerned agencies to provide updates on their initiatives and have a common understanding of the NQI. With this, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) also a council member, through the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) organized the activity in collaboration with the DTI-PAB.

The three main pillars of NQI are Standardization, Accreditation, and Metrology. They are interrelated and vital in providing consistent and reliable social, scientific and technical grounds for the development and implementation of national and international standards.

The Bureau of Philippine Standards represented by Dir. Neil P. Catajay, Philippine Accreditation Bureau represented by Dir. James E. Empeño, and DOST- ITDI’s National Metrology Division represented by Engr. Manuel M. Ruiz were gathered together in one virtual venue to present their accomplishments and updates about their agency’s NQI-related initiatives.

Apart from these organizations, the Development Academy of the Philippines represented by Vice Pres. Arnel D. Abanto and the Philippine Metrology, Standards, Testing, and Quality, Inc. represented by Pres. Cirila S. Botor, also joined in to impart their contributions in promoting and strengthening the NQI in the country.

Mr. Jon Echanove, Founder and Senior Consultant of Positive Development Sprl was invited to discuss the topic on, “Understanding/Establishment of NQI” to help us better understand its concept. He emphasized that it is a system of trust, and trust is built on quality. The components in this system include standardization, conformity assessment (testing and certification), accreditation and metrology which can effectively boost competitiveness, trade facilitation, and consumer protection. He further stated that these apply to all products and processes.

Also present in the webinar to show their support and give their inspirational messages were Prof. Fortunato T. de la Peña, DOST Secretary; Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr., DOST Undersecretary for Scientific and Technical Services and OIC, Office of the Undersecretary for Regional Operations and Principal Representative to PAB Council; and Dr. Rafaelita M. Aldaba, DTI Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation Group, and Chairperson to PAB Council.

With reference to the messages of the speakers as well as that of DOST and DTI key officials during the webinar, it can be deduced that NQI could be defined as, “the totality of the institutional framework of activities that contribute to the protection of the health and safety of citizens, the protection of the environment and the optimum efficiency of the economy by assuring the quality of products, services, and processes”.

The webinar was participated by two hundred ninety-six (296) combined viewers from different government agencies and educational institutions via Zoom (138 viewers) and DOST-ITDI’s Facebook live channel (158 viewers).

Release Date: 02 June 2021