News and Events Vol 13-1_Updates! Philippine Forest Certification System: INGB Members attends Capability Building Workshop

Updates! Philippine Forest Certification System INGB Members attends Capability Building Workshop

The members of the Philippine Forest Certification System (PFCS) Interim National Governing Board (INGB) attended a two-day Capability Workshop last January 20-21, 2017 at the View Park Hotel, Tagaytay City.

The workshop aimed to strengthen the core group and leadership of the INGB for the development and implementation of the national forest certification system and to provide a common understanding on Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) and the Certification Scheme Management to level-off knowledge and expectations.

To determine the level of understanding of the different participants to the workshop, a diagnostic survey was distributed to be filled out by the participants to assess how equipped the members of the INGB in the matters of SFM, certification, standard development, among others. The result of the survey will be the basis for the training development agenda for the members so that they may be able to implement PFCS effectively.

In attendance to the workshop are representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources/Forest Management Bureau (DENR/FMB); the Philippine Wood Producers Association (PWPA); the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS) and Philippine Adjudication Bureau (PAB); the Integrated Forest Management Association of the Philippines (IFMAP); the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc. (PCEPSDI); the National Community-Based Forest Management Federation (NCBFMF); and the UPLB Forestry Development Center (FDC).

DTI/BPS Standard Development Chief, Engr. Mario Gaudiano, made a presentation of the guidelines and
processes in the Development of Philippine Standards, the benefits of standards to business, government, society, or consumers and about the WTO-TBT agreement, and the directives that guide the BPS in developing standards.

He also said that RA 4109 or the Standardization Law of the Philippines in 1964 mandated the BPS to be the national standard body of the Philippines and to develop, promulgate, implement, and coordinate standardization activities in the Philippines.

He said further that the PNS should be aligned to the International Standards (IS) per World Trade Organization-Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO-TBT) Agreement and clarified that standards are not mandated regulations, controls, necessarily “how to” documents nor certifications.

DTI/PAB Trade and Industry Development Specialist Chief, Ms. Ma. Juanita Carpio, made a presentation about the components of a certification system, conformity assessment, certification scheme, accreditation, and the PAB.

She said that certification system outlines the rules, procedure and management for carrying out certification. She added further that it establishes specific requirements for a product, process, system or body and uses a third-party to ensure that the fulfilment of specified requirements has been demonstrated. She identified the different components of certification system which are standard setting, certification and accreditation.

She said Executive Order 802 of 2009 was issued pursuant to Section 13 of RA 9236 or The National Metrology Act of 2003 which strengthened and recognized the Philippine Accreditation Office (PAO) as the national accreditation body of the country. She added further that upon approval by the Department of Budget and Management of the DTI’s Rationalization Plan, the PAO was then renamed as Philippine Accreditation Bureau.

She presented their mandate and said that the PAB is a signatory to the Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRA) and Multilateral Recognition Arrangements (MLA) and through MRA and MLA, an accreditation body recognize the equivalence of accreditation performed by their overseas counterpart.

DENR-FMB Senior Forest Management Specialist Ray Thomas Kabigting made a presentation of the different Forestry Laws that governs the sector. He said that the basic forestry law is still the Presidential Decree No. 75 known as the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines which was issued in 1975. He focused on the definition of terms, the criminal offenses, and the arrest and institution of criminal actions.

He also discussed the different tenure instruments, its legal basis, qualification of interested applicants and the requirements for the different tenurial instruments.

UPLB CFNR FDC Director Priscila Dolom presentation dealt with Sustainable Forest Management (SFM), its components, the four pillars needed to support SFM in the country, its benefits and the national policies supporting SFM. She also presented forest certification, the need for certification and the Philippine criteria indicators.

Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) Mr. Richard Laity made an online presentation, using Skype technology, on the PEFC Standards and System Development. His presentation included its working structure, the certification scheme structure, the standard setting process, and its documentation structure.

The workshop culminated with the participants’ identification of the different stakeholders that could be covered or affected by the PFCS, its role or sector in the supply chain through a plenary workshop.