Ms. Perla F. Baje- Chief of PAB-Laboratory Accreditation Division (6th from left) thanking the APLAC peer evaluators (1st to 4th from left) during the closing meeting of the 5-day APLAC peer evaluation. Others in photo are PAB-OIC Ernani M. Dionisio (center), Ms. Juanita P. Carpio –Chief of PAB- Management System Accreditation Division (5th from left), Ms. Amor F. Lahoz- Chief of PAB-Promotion and Documentation Division (8th from left), and PAB staff.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Philippine Accreditation Bureau (PAB) went through a rigorous peer evaluation to maintain its signatory status to the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) of the Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) on 05-09 February 2018.  The evaluation covered the PAB’s accreditation schemes for testing and calibration based on ISO/IEC 17025. PAB is also seeking extension of its MRA for its accreditation schemes on medical testing based on ISO 15189 and inspection body based on ISO/IEC 17020.

Since 2005, the DTI-PAB has maintained its signatory status to the APLAC – MRA for testing and calibration. To maintain MRA signatory status, an APLAC accreditation body member undergoes evaluation by the other signatories or what is called peer evaluation every four years to ensure continuous fulfilment of the criteria in ISO/IEC 17011: Conformity assessment – General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies.  Maintenance of PAB’s MRA signatory status is critical in maximizing the country’s trade opportunities.

The result of the peer evaluation will be announced during the APLAC-PAC Joint Annual Meetings on 01-09 June 2018 in Kyoto, Japan.

The Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) was created to establish, develop and expand a mutual recognition arrangement among accreditation bodies in the region. The APLAC MRA provides assurance that the signatory accreditation body have undergone thorough evaluation through peer-review and shown to meet the APLAC rigorous criteria for competence. Through this MRA, accredited laboratories and inspection bodies receive global recognition of their competence.  Consequently, test, calibration data and inspection report accompanying goods issued by accredited laboratories of APLAC signatories are readily accepted by other signatory members which can open up enormous trade and investment opportunities for the country. 

As of 31 December 2017, DTI-PAB has accredited two hundred twenty-one (221) testing and calibration laboratories (ISO/IEC 17025:2005), seven (7) medical testing laboratories (ISO 15189:2012) and seven (7) inspection bodies (ISO/IEC 17020:2012).