A public hearing was conducted recently in Bohol to tackle a proposed bill modernizing the national measurement system of the Philippines.
Department of Science and Technology (DOST) secretary Fortunato T. Dela Pe?a led the public hearing. Also present were his undersecretaries Carol M. Yorobe, Brenda L. Nazareth-Manzano, Renato U. Solidum Jr., and ITDI director Maria Patricia V. Azanza.
National Metrology Laboratory (NML) chief Aurora V. Kimura explained during the hearing that the national metrology bill, once passed, would ensure the integrity of measurements in the country.
Products and services, she said, will be more capable to meet regional and international requirements for measurement standards.
The revised bill is a consolidated version of the different bills filed by six congressmen. It was prepared in collaboration with the Committee on Science and Technology of the House of Representatives, the Department of Legislative Liaison Office, and the NML, a service unit of the Industrial Technology and Development Institute (ITDI).
The ITDI, through the NML, has been implementing the National Measurement Act of 2003, which established the National Measurement Infrastructure System (NMIS).
Michael Solis, an employee of the NML, said during the hearing on the bill that the NMIS in other countries has a driver institute called the National Metrology Institute or NMI. The Philippines, however, has yet to establish one. The NML is currently assuming the function of an NMI. Once the bill is enacted, however, the NML will transition into NMI and will become an attached agency of DOST.
Kimura said the bill also supports the membership of the Philippines in the regional and international metrology organizations.
Under the bill, a National Metrology Board is also being proposed to regulate sectors like trade, health, safety, and environmental protection. The NMI will also be designated as the board?s secretariat. Also, the bill is proposing the establishment of a National Metrology Training Center for education and training.