Quality infrastructure eyed for local products, services

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Better product and service quality are vital to the Philippines, according to the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) study.

“Many products that come to the country are patronized by Filipinos because of price and quality,” said Cirila Botor, president of Philippine Metrology, Standards, Testing and Quality Inc. (PhilMSTQ), a nongovernment organization (NGO) that launched on Thursday “Quality Matters,” an advocacy for an improved NQI in the Philippines.

“Right now, we have the government which is handling both standards and technical regulation of products. [We think] [the]government should only focus on technical regulation given limited resources,” Botor said.

Quality Matters aims to raise awareness on the country’s system for quality. PhilMSTQ hopes to engage consumers, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), business and government agencies to improve the country’s NQI.

“A strong and well-coordinated National Quality Infrastructure with the inherent elements of metrology, standardization, testing, certification and accreditation is vital to a country’s economic growth,” she added.

PhilMSTQ presented a copy of its executive summary on the NQI Study to Zenaida Maglaya, the Department of Trade and Industry undersecretary for Consumer Welfare and Business Regulation Group.

NQI study
The main recommendation of the study is the establishment of a single NQI Policy and Strategy, which is supported and endorsed by regulators and all relevant stakeholders.

The study further identifies the current strengths and weaknesses of the Philippines’ quality infrastructure and provides recommendations to help regulators move forward to create the conditions for the improvement of the country’s NQI.

The NGO said that it is advocating, together with stakeholders from both private and public sectors, to improve the country’s NQI.

PhilMSTQ said that the country needs policies that will harmonize the discordant and outdated laws to put in place the NQI system that ensures the protection of consumers, and enables importers and exporters to access the global market. The NQI system will also provides regulators and manufacturers with a verifiable process to ensure compliance with the legislative requirements, gives SMEs a chance to access best practices, and guarantees predictability and technical coherence to attract investors.

The NQI study was developed under the European Union-Philippines Trade Related Technical Assistance Project Phase II, and was undertaken in close cooperation with Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt of Germany.

“In the current socioeconomic environment, there is very little room for countries to decide whether they want to be part of the global economy or not. The choice of countries is to decide how they can contribute to and benefit from the global economy,” Botor said.

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