Philippines leads ASEAN Task Force on Wood-Based Products

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In a video conference, the Philippines, through the Department of Trade and Industry’s Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS) has led the 17th Meeting of the Task Force on Wood-Based Products (TFWBP) which was held last May 21, 2021.

Supervising Trade-Industry Development Specialist of the BPS Standards Development Division (SDD) Engr. Myra Magabilin has chaired the meeting with Standards Officer of Thai Industrial Standards Institute (TISI) Pattaraporn Krongyuth of Thailand as the vice-chair. The Philippines will be leading the TFWBP meetings until 2023.

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ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality (ACCSQ) Working Group 1 on Standards and Mutual Recognition Arrangements is being backed up by the TFWBP when it comes to dealing with the Technical Barriers to Trade for wood-based products sector which assists in the trade facilitation initiatives to push the accomplishment of the ASEAN single market and production base.

TFWBP is in charge of wood-based products that are being used for structural and non-structural like the sawn timber, wood-based panels (e.g., plywood), builders’ joinery and carpentry (BJC), laminated veneer lumber, glued and cross laminated timber, bamboo and rattan, and other wood composites along with the matters of discussion regarding the safety, health and performance requirements for wooden furniture such as those made of bamboo and rattan.

Included in the topics that have been talked about during the 17th TFWBP Meeting were the identification of wood-based standards, technical assistance and capacity building for wood-based products sector in cooperation with the Japanese Industrial Standards Committee (JISC) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and information exchange on the 2019 import and export figures for wood-based products from AMS including the classification of wood-based products according to International HS Codes.

Senior Trade-Industry Development Specialist from BPS-SDD and Head of Philippine Delegation Engr. Rheychelle Jean Pidoc shared the latest progress and development on standards from the five Working Groups under the ISO/TC 296 on Bamboo and Rattan.

She also shared the country’s adoption of five (5) newly published ISO standards (i.e. ISO 21625:2020, ISO 21626-1:2020, ISO 21626-2:2020, ISO 21626-3:2020, and ISO 23066:2021) as Philippine National Standards.

The Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 20-06, Series of 2020 – The New Technical Regulation Concerning the Mandatory Product Certification of Plywood has also been brought up by the Philippines and discussed during the meeting. This Order aims to strictly ensure that plywood to be manufactured, imported and distributed in the Philippines meets the specified quality requirements as required under the technical regulation. The reference standards of DAO 20-06:2020 are PNS ISO 12465:2017 Plywood—Specifications and PNS 2103:2017 Plywood—Formaldehyde emissions —Specification for test requirements/methods.

The Philippines has been part of the ISO Technical Committee on Bamboo and Rattan (ISO/TC 296) since 2015 through the DTI-BPS. Atty. Dulce Blanca Punzalan, who is the President and COO of Filbamboo Exponents, Inc. is the current Convenor for Working Group on Bamboo Charcoal (WG 3). While, Dr. Rico Cabangon, Chief of the Engineered Products Development Division under the Department of Science Technology—Forest Product Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) and BPS/TC 76 Bamboo and Rattan Chairman, is the Convenor for Working Group on Engineered Bamboo (WG 5).

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