DOST pushes for more ISO-certified labs in WV

BACOLOD. Department of Science and Technology Western Visayas director Rowen Gelonga in one of the agency’s activities in Bacolod City recently. (Photo by Erwin P. Nicavera)

THE Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Western Visayas is stepping up its efforts to assist government laboratories in the region to acquire International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification.

Rowen Gelonga, regional director of DOST Western Visayas, said the agency is assisting other public laboratories by coming up with a lot of capability building activities so they can also acquire certification.

Gelonga said the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Western Visayas recently acquired its ISO accreditation for its laboratory.

This is the second government laboratory in the region to be ISO-certified, next to that of DOST Western Visayas.

“Most of the government laboratories cannot acquire ISO certification mainly because of the rigid requirements,” he said, adding that they are trying to encourage other laboratories like those from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, University of the Philippines - Visayas, and Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, among others.

DOST Western Visayas is organizing activities as it targets to have at least five laboratories in the region to acquire ISO certification in the next two to three years.

The regional director pointed out that ISO certification is very critical because it’s the only way to assure clients that the tests given to them are accurate.

Gelonga said if laboratories do not comply with data requirement, they cannot give the clients the highest possible level of accuracy results.

Laboratories, he said, whether government and private must have a quality management system.

For DOST Region 6, it is based on ISO/IEC 17025: 2005 or “General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories.”

“Our intention is to make testing a viable industry in the region,” Gelonga said, stressing that a “test result without an ISO accreditation is just a piece of paper.”


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