Government urged to reinforce National Quality Infrastructure

May 23, 2013 10:35 pm 

MANILA, May 23 -– The government is now advised to reinforce its National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) after the Philippine Metrology, Standards, Testing and Quality (MSTQ) Incorporated partners with Germany’s Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) to assess the NQI in the country.

NQI refers to the interconnected and harmonized strategy on standards, testing, certification, accreditation and metrology.

In a press briefing, Key Expert on NQI and EU-Philippines Trade Related Technical Assistance Project Phase 3 Jon Echanove said the Philippines NQI is lower compared to its ASEAN neighbors.

Echanove stated challenges why Phlippines has lower NQI: (1)fragmentation of the existing NQI practices and their mandates; (2) NQI existing respond mostly to consumer protection not to developing national industries; (3) and private sectors do not yet have the ownership, responsibility and recognition support for the NQI.

He noted that NQI is an aid for the government to boost its business sector by giving them the right tools to help industries in developing their products. Hence, he urged the government to take steps to reinforce the NQI in the country to make the industry more competitive.

Base on their study, the government shall develop voluntary standardization in the industry.

Echanove explained that government should not have a technical regulation on the quality of products because it disregards the innovation of the company.

After all, the industry has more knowledge about the quality rather than the government, he added. Hence, the government should give up their quality regulation to companies and private sectors and should focus on safety regulation.

”The regulatory board should be concerned about safety. That is what it should be doing. That’s the minimum requirements per se,” Echanove said.

“Competitiveness is owned by the private sectors. They are the ones that really know how to do better product and the ones who take the risk to make better products. A government by default is conservative because its mandate is set. The private sectors by default are risk takers because they have to be that haven’t done before,” he continued.

He added that the best quality products are all safe but a safe product is not always in its best quality.

He also recommends to reinforce and secure independent accreditation body, which he pertains as the key of credibility, and establish more financial support and institute the national metrology laboratory.

NQI will not be a regulation but will satisfy the manufacturing section to be more competitive in creating their products.

Meanwhile, Philippine MSTQ Inc. and PTB created “Quality Matters” and advocacy for an improved NQI. Part of this advocacy is seeking the support of Department of Trade and Industry and to further recommend revision on Republic Act 7394 or The Consumer Act of the Philippines in the 16th Congress. (PNA)

DSP/KMC/UTB

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