The Philippines, through the Department of Trade and Industry’s Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS), chaired the 17th Meeting of the Task Force on Wood-Based Products (TFWBP) last 21 May 2021 via video conferencing. Engr. Myra Magabilin, Supervising Trade-Industry Development Specialist of the BPS Standards Development Division (SDD), led the meeting while Mrs. Pattaraporn Krongyuth, Standards Officer of Thai Industrial Standards Institute (TISI), Thailand served as the vice-chair. PH will chair the TFWBP meetings for three years or until 2023.
The TFWBP assists the ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality (ACCSQ) Working Group 1 on Standards and Mutual Recognition Arrangements in addressing the Technical Barriers to Trade for wood-based products sector to support trade facilitation initiatives towards the realization of the ASEAN single market and production base. TFWBP deals with wood-based products for structural and non-structural use such as sawn timber, wood-based panels (e.g. plywood), builders' joinery and carpentry (BJC), laminated veneer lumber, glued and cross laminated timber, bamboo and rattan, and other wood composites. TFWBP also discusses the safety, health and performance requirements for wooden furniture such as those made of bamboo and rattan.
Among the topics discussed in the 17th TFWBP Meeting were the identification of wood-based standards, technical assistance and capacity building for wood-based products sector in cooperation with the Japanese Industrial Standards Committee (JISC) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and information exchange on the 2019 import and export figures for wood-based products from AMS including the classification of wood-based products according to International HS Codes.
Engr. Rheychelle Jean Pidoc, Senior Trade-Industry Development Specialist from BPS-SDD and Head of PH Delegation, shared the latest progress and development on standards from the five (5) Working Groups under the ISO/TC 296 on Bamboo and Rattan. Engr. Pidoc also shared the country’s adoption of five (5) newly published ISO standards (i.e. ISO 21625:2020, ISO 21626-1:2020, ISO 21626-2:2020, ISO 21626-3:2020, and ISO 23066:2021) as Philippine National Standards (PNS).
In addition, the Philippines discussed the Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 20-06, Series of 2020 - The New Technical Regulation Concerning the Mandatory Product Certification of Plywood, which aims to strictly ensure that plywood to be manufactured, imported and distributed in the Philippines meets the specified quality requirements as required under the technical regulation. The reference standards of DAO 20-06:2020 are PNS ISO 12465:2017 Plywood – Specifications and PNS 2103:2017 Plywood – Formaldehyde emissions – Specification for test requirements/methods.
The Philippines, through the DTI-BPS, is a participating member to the ISO Technical Committee on Bamboo and Rattan (ISO/TC 296) since 2015. Currently, Atty. Dulce Blanca Punzalan, President and COO of Filbamboo Exponents, Inc. is the Convenor for Working Group on Bamboo Charcoal (WG 3). Likewise, Dr. Rico Cabangon, Chief of the Engineered Products Development Division under the Department of Science Technology – Forest Product Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) and BPS/TC 76 Bamboo and Rattan Chairman, is the Convenor for Working Group on Engineered Bamboo (WG 5).
The Philippines is also a participating member to ISO/TC 165 – Timber Structure and ISO/TC 136 on Furniture while an observing member to ISO/TC 218 – Timber and ISO/TC 89 – Wood-Based Panels.