By Halyn Lunel Gamboa

The Regional Standards and Testing Laboratory (RSTL) of the DOST-CALABARZON maintained its PNS ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accreditation granted by the Philippine Accreditation Bureau (PAB) last 15 July 2022.

Specifically, the said laboratory accreditation programs include Biological Testing and Chemical Testing on foods, waters, and beverages which are valid until 23 December 2023 and 28 August 2024, respectively. An approved signatory status has been granted to Ms. Shaine M. Fonacier for the Biological Testing while Ms. Agnes C. Morales, Ms. Jasmin C. Hamid, Ms. Maria Teresa A. Pamplona, and Ms. Ma. Lorelie P. Dorado for the Chemical Testing.

One of the main benefits of being an ISO/IEC 17025:2015-accredited is that the laboratory will gain international recognition for its commitment to quality, competency, and reliable results. It is an objective way to assure the customers that the laboratory has the technical competence to provide reliable and accurate test results.  This serves as an unbiased guarantee that the lab is performing at its highest level. It demonstrates that the laboratory ensures that the required quality levels and the satisfaction of the customers’ needs are met.

RSTL has successfully transitioned from ISO/IEC 17025:2005 to the 2017 version in 2021. The International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) is an organization promoting international arrangements between member accreditation bodies based on peer evaluation and mutual acceptance to develop and harmonize laboratory and inspection body accreditation practices and to fully implement this new standard from the date of its publication. At the end of the transition period, laboratories not accredited to the ISO/IEC 17025:2017 will not be allowed to issue endorsed test reports and will not be recognized under the ILAC MRA terms.

The RSTL offers analytical testing services for water, wastewater, foods, feeds, and others such as fertilizer and hand sanitizers through its laboratory units: Chemical Laboratory (Chem Lab), Halal Verification Laboratory (HVL), and Microbiological Laboratory (Micro Lab). The Chem Lab and the HVL, operated by three registered chemists and four registered chemical technicians, offer physico-chemical testing on food, water, and other matrices and shelf-life testing of food. The Micro Lab is operated by a food technologist, a registered microbiologist, and a biologist, and offers microbiological testing for food and water. RSTL is supported by a customer relations officer (CRO) and two laboratory aides.

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