The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) MIMAROPA through the Regional Standards and Testing Laboratory (RSTL) now plays an active role in supplying professional services needed to help ensure water and food safety and quality – from detection and identification of waterborne and foodborne pathogens to guaranteeing that food products of MSMEs meet local, national, and international standards.
DOST MIMAROPA RSTL housed at the Provincial Science and Technology Center-Palawan (PSTC-Palawan) in Sta. Monica, Puerto Princesa City, is organized into three laboratory divisions – the microbiology laboratory, metrology laboratory, and physico chemical laboratory. The RSTL’s mission is to perform testing and analysis of products to ensure that these are ready to be intorduced to a market with assurance to quality standards, compliance to regulations, and consumer protection.
Aside from its state of the art facility, DOST RSTL is also equipped with cutting edge technologies to handle the testing and calibration needs of the customer. It also offers a wide array of testing services of water, wastewater, food, and food products. Some of the services include potability and bacteriology tests in the microbiology lab; calibration of trailer, vehicle tank, and proving tank in the metrology lab; and total suspended solids, oil and grease, and metals analyses in the physico chemical laboratory. These test are important to increase consumer confidence in products and minimize the risk of contamination to protect human health.
DOST RSTL also offers one special service which allows laboratory referrals. Called the one stop shop laboratory services for global competitiveness (OneLab), clients may now avail of laboratory services of RSTLs of other DOST regional offices as well as of DOST Research and Development Institutes (RDIs) that are not offered at the MIMAROPA RSTL. Through the OneLab’s referral system, samples will be brought to the nearest laboratory and complete its testing requirements. The customers may claim their result through email or pick it up personally in the DOST RSTL. It uses the OneLab Unified Laboratory Information Management System (ULIMS) for easy online access to laboratory services and referrals. Through the OneLab customer portal module (web.onelab.ph), customers can easily access or overview the test offered by DOST RSTLs and RDIs along with the corresponding fees for each test and type of sample. In this regard, more customers will be catered and be guaranteed of timely, value added laboratory services.
Recognizing the importance of a quality management system that is internationally acceptable and to ensure customers that the RSTL staff is technically competent and able to generate valid results, the laboratory has already applied for ISO 17025 accreditation. Also, promotional activities are being conducted to be able to provide understanding to clients especially the MSMEs on the value of laboratory testing and encourage them to avail of the laboratory services so as to improve their competitiveness in the market.
By: DOST MIMAROPA