The Department of Trade and Industry’s Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS), under the Consumer Protection Group (CPG), successfully hosted the 58th ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality (ACCSQ) Meeting and its Related Meetings in Boracay, Malay, Aklan on 06-09 December 2022.
The Meeting was attended by ACCSQ Leaders from the following ASEAN Member States: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam with the ASEAN Secretariat. The Meeting was chaired by Mr. Nou Thara, Deputy Director General, Institute of Standards Cambodia and vice-chaired by Mrs. Konny Sagala, Director, Directorate of Standard Implementation System and Conformity Assessment, National Standardization Agency of Indonesia.
The Philippine Delegation was led by BPS Director Neil P. Catajay as Head of Delegation, Director Jesusa Joyce Cirunay from the Department of Health - Food and Drug Administration (DOH-FDA), Directory Romulo Aggangan from the Department of Science and Technology - Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) together with representatives from the DTI-Philippine Accreditation Bureau (PAB), DTI-Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB), DTI-Aklan, DOST-Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI), and other BPS partners.
During the opening ceremony, DTI-CPG Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo and the ACCSQ Chair Mr. Nou Thara provided the welcome messages to the delegates.
"The ASEAN has shown resilience and perseverance amidst the pandemic. It has created purposeful measures to allow the region to recover from the effects of the pandemic. While we are on our way to recovery, it is still an uphill battle and would require enormous effort from all stakeholders. Aside from the post-pandemic effects, we are also witnessing new heights of development in the area of digital trade, and the fourth industrial revolution which present opportunities and challenges in the area of online consumer protection and product safety," underscored by Usec. Castelo.
With the said developments, Usec. Castelo enjoined the ASEAN Member States to move forward together through collective and individual efforts, across different ASEAN communities: political-security, economic and socio-cultural
The Meeting discussed matters arising from the 57th ACCSQ Meeting, updates on the recent developments in the ASEAN Economic Integration, progress of 2022 Annual Priority (AP) Deliverables, latest updates in the signing of ASEAN legal instruments in 2022, AP Deliverables for 2023 proposed by Indonesia, the Standards and Conformance Strategic Plan 2016-2025 and Third Sector Masterplan of ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025, progress reports of ACCSQ Working Groups and Product Working Groups as well as Standards, Technical Regulations and Conformity Assessment Procedures (STRACAP) in ASEAN Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Australia and New Zealand, China, Korea, Japan, and Canada. The ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) upgrade negotiations and cooperation with Dialogue Partners were also tackled.
In addition, the following Dialogue Meetings were held back-to-back with the 58th ACCSQ Meeting:
The IEC Asia-Pacific Regional Centre (IEC-APRC) also provided updates to the Meeting on IEC's latest activities and programs.
The ACCSQ is a sectoral body under the purview of the ASEAN Economic Ministers that is tasked to reduce, if not to remove, technical barriers to trade in order to realize the goals of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA). It was established to harmonize national standards with international standards, implement mutual recognition arrangements on conformity assessment, and develop harmonized regulatory regimes.
The DTI-BPS functions as the Philippines’ lead agency to the ACCSQ. As lead, the DTI-BPS represents the country in the programs and events of the ACCSQ Leaders on standards and conformity assessment procedures and coordinates with other government agencies and the private sector involved in the activities of the Working Groups (WGs) and Product Working Groups (PWGs) under the ACCSQ.