In 2013, the Department of Trade and Industry-Philippine Accreditation Office (DTI-PAO) accredited 21 testing and four calibration laboratories to ISO/IEC 17025, the international standard for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.
Two of these are government laboratories conducting tests for potable water and drugs—National Reference Laboratory for Environmental and Occupational Health, Toxicology and Micronutrient Assay in East Avenue Medical Center, Quezon City; and for electrical and electronic products—Bureau of Product Standards Testing Center (BPSTC) of the DTI in Bicutan, Taguig City.
DTI-PAO Officer-in-Charge Ernani Dionisio emphasized, “A Certificate of Accreditation to ISO 17025 manifests a laboratory’s competence of personnel and system.”
Dionisio explained that these accredited testing laboratories are found to be capable and have sound laboratory management system, thus they can provide assurance of correct and reliable test results on products that they test. These test results are used by regulatory agencies or certification bodies for decisions on product compliance with local and international standards.
Examples of tests done by these laboratories are minerals and ores, potable water, cement, medical grade oxygen, agricultural (fruits and vegetables), desiccated coconut, fish and other aquatic products, other processed food products, and, calibration of test equipment used by the testing laboratories.
The DTI-PAO has conducted a total of 76 surveillance visits to ensure that its accredited laboratories continuously demonstrate competence to perform the tests and calibrations, and provide only the best quality services. Thirty seven special assessments were conducted based on requests from laboratories for expansion of accredited scopes and additional signatories.
Moreover, DTI-PAO has conducted seven office-based assessments and 30 witness audits for its accredited certification bodies, to ensure confidence in the conformity assessment certificates issued by these certification bodies.
To date, the DTI-PAO has awarded the Certificate of Accreditation to 221 companies: 178 testing and 29 calibration laboratories (ISO/IEC 17025); five medical laboratories (ISO 15189); three inspection bodies (ISO 17020); and six certification bodies for certification of management systems (ISO 17021), such as quality (ISO 9001), environment (ISO 14001) and food safety (ISO/TS 22003).
Accreditation supports facilitation of trade and entry of Philippine products into the foreign markets.
The DTI-PAO is a member of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC), and Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC). It is a signatory member of the multilateral recognition agreement (MLA) for quality management system (QMS) and environment management system (EMS) of PAC. The PAO is also a signatory member of the mutual recognition arrangement (MRA) for testing and calibration of APLAC.
For more information on the accredited laboratories and assessment bodies, call DTI-PAO at 751.4707 or visit www.dti.gov.ph.