Newly-elected Governor of Sorsogon Francis “Chiz” Escudero delivers his opening remarks during the launching of ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System.

The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), through its Productivity and Development Center (PDC), is currently assisting the Provincial Government of Sorsogon in its bid to have the first province-wide quality management system (QMS) certifiable to ISO 9001:2015 in the Philippines. The project covers the Provincial Government of Sorsogon, 15 local government units comprised of city and municipal governments, 25 barangays, 7 national government agencies (NGAs), 9 hospitals, and 8 small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Project Launch

Governor Francis Joseph “Chiz” G. Escudero, who graced the launching of the project at the Sorsogon State University last June 3, said that it is free to dream so they might as well dream big. According to him, developing the ISO 9001 QMS is quite easy, it includes identifying and streamlining the processes of each office, making work easier and possibly reducing the number of personnel working on certain processes. However, Escudero declared that there would be no layoffs due to more efficient processes and the goal is to deliver better services to the Sorsoganons.  “By early next year, the QMS of Sorsogon will hopefully be ISO-certified so we can deliver efficient, cost-effective, and corrupt-free services to our people,” he added.

Meanwhile, DAP Vice President Arnel D. Abanto shared about the challenges faced by the government and the need to improve public service delivery in order to fulfill the vision of AmBisyon 2040.  Abanto further discussed the Quality Management Principles and ISO 9001 requirements, as well as the benefits of QMS for government agencies. “The QMS certification of the Province of Sorsogon is the first province-wide scope in the country,” he added.  He also emphasized that ISO 9001 is designed to constantly enhance services for the citizenry.

The plenary session was capped by a commitment exercise and picture taking joined by about 500 participants which include outgoing and elected officials and staff of the Sorsogon Provincial Government, city and municipal governments as well as representatives from NGAs, hospitals, and SMEs.

Project Implementation

The implementation of the project “Development of a Province-Wide Quality Management System Certifiable to ISO 9001: 2015 for the Province of Sorsogon,” started in June and is expected to end in May 2020.  The DAP project team will be providing a series of trainings, workshops, and on-site technical guidance sessions on ISO 9001:2015 QMS to the abovementioned LGUs, NGAs and SMEs. Ahalf-day QMS Orientation for key officials, with Vice Governor Manuel “Wowo” Fortes delivering the opening remarks, was completed on 23 July 2019, followed by a three-day Training Course on ISO 9001:2015 QMS Requirements and Documentation on 24-26 July 2019, which provided participating agencies with basic understanding of the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard and documentation. – Angela Vargas