Bohol First District Representative Rene L. Relampagos joins the move for the strengthening of metrology in the country and revisit the accuracy of measures.
Metrology, as defined by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM), is “the science of measurement, embracing both experimental and theoretical determinations at any level of uncertainty in any field of science and technology”. It establishes a common understanding of units, crucial in linking human activities.
Metrology protects lives, ensures consumer welfare, promotes health and safety, and supports industries and national competitiveness, manufacturing, trade and the implementation of regulations that will protect consumers.
“In layman’s understanding, metrology ensures that the one kilo we buy here in the country is the same one kilo in the world, down to the last milligram,” Rep. Relampagos said.
“Measurement is around us. Everything we purchase is measured. Every ingredient in the things we use and consume is measured. Food, medicines, laboratory processes and results, cosmetics, gadgets, cars, fertilizers, clothing – everything should comply with certain standard measurements. It is practically applicable in every aspect of life. Precision is primordial. Calibration is key,” he continued.
In the country, the National Metrology Laboratory (NML) is the national metrology institute of the Philippines tasked under Republic Act No. 9236 to be responsible for establishing and maintaining the national measurement standards for physical quantities such as mass, temperature, pressure, voltage, resistance, luminous, intensity and time interval and their dissemination to Filipino users. It is currently manned by 27 staff and operates as a division of the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
The proposed bill seeks to strengthen metrology in the country by establishing the National Metrology Institute (NMI) which will necessarily include the NML and its functions. The NMI will now be directly under the DOST. NMI will be responsible with establishing and maintaining the national and physical standards for basic and derived quantities; defining and harmonizing the requirements for accrediting bodies undertaking calibration; formulating mechanisms for the validation of measuring equipments; adopting mutual recognition arrangement and statistical control, among others.
“Ultimately, the goal of the proposed measure is to achieve competitiveness in the national and international markets and duly safeguard the citizens and the environment through the strengthening of the Philippines’ capability to undertake world-class measurements and by establishing complete confidence in national standard measures. This is for our own good and for our safety,” the third termer lawmaker said. “The timing of this measure could not be more perfect in anticipation of the ASEAN integration.”