The country’s furniture, pulp and paper, and plywood industries have found a partner in their bid to make it in the world market: the FTL or FPRDI Testing Laboratories of the Department of Science and Technology’s Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI).

Certified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), through the Philippine Accreditation Bureau (PAB), three laboratories—one each for furniture, pulp and paper, and plywood—conducted 1,394 tests for 515 customers last year, and earned an income of about P4.07 million.

According to the FTLs’ Quality Manager Adela S. Torres, “Having their products tested by an ISO-certified lab ensures our clients to get consistently valid results, and gives them the credibility they need to access new markets overseas, maintains their presence in old markets, and meets the demands of certain government agencies.”

Customers who had their products assessed by an ISO-certified lab no longer need to have them retested since the standards used by the facilities are globally recognized. This saves time and money for exporters.

“One of the the FTLs’ long time clients is the government’s Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service [DBM-PS],” Torres said. “ The DBM-PS requires all its suppliers to submit samples of their paper products to DOST-FPRDI. Only companies that pass the tests will qualify for public bidding. This centralized and direct purchase by the PS saves the government about 30 percent in the cost of its paper supplies.”

For furniture products, on the other hand, only firms which meet the FTL’s evaluation can take part in the public bidding process of the Department of Education.

The FTLs are ran under the DOST’s OneLab project, a platform which gives broader and more efficient public access to all of the Department’s testing services. The DOST-FPRDI also offers wood identification, chemical, physical and mechanical, and bio-energy testing services for forest-based and related products and is currently working for the eventual ISO-accreditation of these.

HAINAN, China–President Rodrigo Duterte arrived at the Qionghai Boao Airport on Monday, April 9, aboard a chartered Philippine Airlines flight.

The President’s plane touched down at the Qionghai Boao Airport at 5:55 pm.

Upon arrival at the airport, the President was welcomed by Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua and Boao local officials.

Among those accompanying the President were Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, NEDA Director General Ernesto Pernia, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, and DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña, among others.

The President then proceeded to the Golden Coast Hotel at 6:36 pm. He was received by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Manuel Teehankee and officials and staff of the Philippine Embassy in China.

Shortly upon his arrival, President Duterte received former President Gloria Macapagal – Arroyo in a courtesy call.

The former President said she will be watching President Duterte when he conducts his speech at the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA).

Former President Arroyo, on the other hand, is attending the BFA at the invitation of the Boao Secretariat.

among those present during the courtesy call were Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go, and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

In a media interview earlier in the day, Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana said former President Arroyo might take the position of former President Ramos at the BFA Board.

“I think she is running for a Board seat and she could take the position of former President Ramos. So we’ll still have a Philippine representation in the Boao Secretariat, in the Boao Board if these things materialize,” Sta. Romana had said.

President Duterte is here in China for his attendance to the Boao Forum for Asia, a non-profit organization hosting high-level fora for heads of states, government ministers, business leaders and academic experts to address major challenges confronting the region and the world.

BFA is committed to facilitating economic integration and common development in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Conceptualized in 1998 by former President Fidel Ramos, former Japanese Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa and former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke, the forum was launched on February 27, 2001 with 26 participating countries. It has since grown to 29 participating countries


MANILA — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will put up different kinds of innovation centers in the country, DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Tuesday.

Dela Peña is part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s delegation to the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference in China on April 8-11.

The DOST chief plans to put up innovation centers for forest products, metal, and fabricated products, as well as a multiproduct innovation center.

Currently, the DOST has 13 food innovation centers (FICs) across the country, and some more will be added, according to Dela Peña.

“They (FICs) have been contributing immensely to the development of new processed food products by MSMEs (micro, small, medium enterprises). We are replicating that in other product sectors,” he said.

The department also has an indigenous yarn innovation center in its Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) located in Bicutan.

Dela Peña mentioned that the DOST had set up the Electronic Products Development Center (EPDC) in DOST Bicutan.

“This will serve our electronics products enterprises, SMEs, and startups. Initially, we only have one EPDC. But if we have resources, we can probably have additional in Visayas and Mindanao,” he told PNA.

The EPDC will operate this year.

Dela Peña said the DOST had partnered with Electronics Industries Association of the Philippines (EIAPI) for the operational management of the EPDC, adding that the agency wants to be more innovative in running this type of innovation facility.

Meanwhile, at least three product innovation centers for processed forest products like bamboo is also among the DOST’s plans.

“We also plan to have a multiproduct innovation center at the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI), where products for flavors, fragrances, and healthcare will be developed,” said Dela Peña.

The ITDI, a DOST-attached agency, has its office in Bicutan.

Another DOST-attached office, the Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC), is eyed to be an innovation center for metal and fabricated products, according to Dela Peña.

He said most of these centers would be operational by 2019.

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