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Date Posted October  2016

“THE ESSENCE OF education is to learn continuously and to open ourselves to the new technologies of today.” These were the inspiring words of Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) Executive Director Norlito R. Gicana during the opening ceremony of the “Orientation on ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System (QMS) and FPA Approved Merit Selection Plan (MSP)” on September 21, 2016. Organized by the FPA-Field Operations Coordinating Unit (FOCU), FPA-Fertilizer Regulations Division (FRD) and FPA-Finance and Administrative Division (FAD), the activity aimed to shed light on what the ISO 9001:2008 is all about prior to application for ISO certification and to orient the entire Agency on the recently approved merit selection plan and system of ranking positions for 2016.

Held at the FPA Central Office in Quezon City, the two-day activity was participated by officials and staff from the Agency’s Central and Regional Offices nationwide. ISO 9001:2008 QMS The seminar on ISO was led by a group of experts from the Competitiveness Bureau (CB) and National Competitiveness Council (NCC) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Lead resource speaker Mr. Ariel Faraon, who was introduced by FPA-FRD Chief Ms. Julieta B. Lansangan, is the project manager and lead program consultant of the Project Repeal: The Philippine Red Tape Challenge. What is ISO 9001? According to Mr. Faraon’s presentation, “it is a quality management system that can be adopted by any kind of organization…the system is focused towards the meeting of customer requirements and enhancing customer satisfaction.” With over a million certificates issued globally, ISO 9001 is currently being instigated in 175 countries. As a system designed to constantly enhance agency performance, the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System can eradicate bad culture, uncertainties, malicious practices, inconsistencies, errors, problems, inefficiencies and ineffectiveness. “Planning is the key,” said Mr. Faraon as he emphasized that the ISO 9001 necessitates agencies to plan what to do; follow that plan; monitor, measure and analyse the execution of the plan; and improve the plan. The ISO 9001 is based on the following quality management principles: 1) customer focus, 2) leadership, 3) involvement of people, 4) process approach, 5) system approach to management, 6) continual improvement, 7) factual approach to decision making, and 8) mutual beneficial supplier relationship. Based on Mr. Faraon’s presentation, “it is recommended that the principles be used by management to guide organizations to improve performance…the principles enable an organization to determine the right things to do and understand why they are doing them.” The ISO 9001:2008’s structure, as discussed by Mr. Nestor Ian Fiedalan of the Project Repeal, has eight Clauses that need to be fulfilled. These are: 1) scope, 2) normative references, 3) terms and definitions, 4) quality management system, 5) management responsibility, 6) resource management, 7) product realization and 8) measurement, analysis and improvement.

According to the presentation, “Clauses 1, 2 and 3 are introductory statements and not part of the auditable requirements…the applicable and auditable requirements are those specified in Clauses 4 to 8.” An important requirement of the ISO under Clause 4 is the quality manual, which includes the scope of the Quality Management System; justifiable exclusions; documented procedures or references; and description of interaction between processes. “The quality manual should have clear objectives and outcomes…the FPA already has a system which will be packaged and contained in this manual,” explained Mr. Faraon. Other general requirements include quality policy; quality objectives; documented procedures and records; and documents and records necessary for effective planning, operation and control. The latest edition of this system is ISO 9001:2015, which has a more complex set of requirements than the 2008 edition. Mr. Fiedalan briefly discussed the ten clauses of ISO 9001:2015, which include: 1) scope, 2) normative references, 3) terms and definitions, 4) context of the organization, 5) leadership, 6) planning, 7) support, 8) operations, 9) performance evaluations and 10) improvement. Certification of ISO 9001 is being conducted by independent certification bodies and an ISO- certified organization receives a renewable three-year certificate. Within this period, the organization will be audited for certification, surveillance and re-certification. “If after three months, non- conformities were not corrected (via the corrective action procedure) by the client, the ISO 9001 certificate will be revoked by the certifying body,” as stated in the presentation. Towards the end of the seminar, Ms. Kahlil Christa De Silva of the Project Repeal discussed what their initiative is all about. With the strategy to crowdsource proposals, establish repeal system and cut regulatory costs, the Project Repeal is aimed at “reduced cost of compliance for people and businesses; savings for the economy, measured in PhP millions annually”. Malaysia, Indonesia, Russia, New Zealand, Germany and many other countries are implementing the same initiative. The scope of Project Repeal covers: 1) amendment [addition, deletion and/or change of certain provisions of a rule or regulation], 2) consolidation [integration of multiple, similar regulations into one legal document], 3) delisting [removal of invalid rules and regulations from an agency’s website and roster of active issuances] and 4) repeal [full elimination of a rule/issuance because it has been deemed no longer necessary]. “At the end of the day, the goal is to simplify processes,” said Ms. De Silva. Merit Selection Plan Ms. Josephine S. Guntan, Administrative Officer V of FPA-FAD, led the presentation on “Orientation on the FPA Approved Merit Selection Plan-System of Ranking Positions (MSP-SRP) 2016”. Approved by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) on August 15, 2016, the FPA MSP-SRP is pursuant to the provisions of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No. 292. “The objectives are 1) to establish a system that is characterized by strict observance of the merit, fitness and equality principle in the selection of the employees for the appointment to positions on the basis of their qualifications and competence to perform the duties of the position to be filled and 2) to create equal opportunities for employment to all qualified and competent persons to enter the government service and for career advancement in the Agency,” said Ms. Guntan. Also discussed during the seminar were the phases of MSP (i.e., publication and posting and selection process); composition of the Personnel Selection Board (PSB); individual assessment criteria for original appointment and promotion appointment; system of ranking positions; and personnel complement.

Other Matters The “Guidelines on the Grant of FY 2016 Performance-Based Bonus (PBB)” was presented by FPA-FAD Chief Ms. Elizabeth T. Ramiro. The new features of the FY 2016 PBB are as follows: 1) harmonized implementation of the PBB with EO 201; 2) priority programs based on five KRAs of EO 43, OP Planning Tool, and EODB targets shall be suspended for FY 2016 PBB only; 3) PBB rates of individuals shall depend on the performance rating of the bureau/ delivery unit where they belong; and 4) third level officials should receive at least “Satisfactory” rating under the CESPES. The “FPA FY 2017 Budget” was presented by Ms. Maria Theresa B. Oliveros, Administrative Officer V of the FPA-FAD. Based on her report, the FPA’s total budget proposal for FY 2017 is P112.34 million. “In FY 2016, the budget approved was P79.39 million [and as] compared to the FY 2017 budget per National Expenditure Program (NEP) of P112.34 million, there was a total increase of P32.949 million or a 42% increase from this year’s budget,” as stated in the presentation. Mr. Antonio G. Cruz, Jr., Supervising Agriculturist of the FPA-Regional Office 3, delivered a brief closing remarks to officially cap off the activity. He said that everyone is aiming for the certification of ISO 9001:2008 and that the QMS will be aligned with the Agency’s SPMS. He added that once the FPA becomes ISO-certified, it will prove that the Agency is providing good and quality service. With the increase of the FPA budget for 2017, he said that this reflects that the Agency is working hard towards the fulfilment of its objectives and mandate and he congratulated all the officials and staff who contributed to this milestone.