The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint envisions the transformation of the ASEAN region into a single market and production base through the facilitation of the free flow of goods and services. With tariffs declining to near-zero levels, nontariff barriers are increasingly the focus of coordination efforts by ASEAN member-countries. The ASEAN standards and conformance measures aim to harmonize national standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures to achieve connectivity among similar regulatory institutions in the region and to facilitate trade. The Mid-Term Review of the AEC Blueprint set out surveys and a scorecard mechanism to assess each country`s progress in the implementation of standards and conformance in eight key areas, including automotive and rubber-based products, electrical and electronic equipment, cosmetics, medical devices, pharmaceutical products, prepared foodstuff, and traditional medicine and health supplement sectors.
This paper presents the survey results and includes a background on key national institutions in-charge of standards and conformance. Overall, the survey results show that the Philippines is committed to aligning national standards with international benchmarks and has achieved significant progress in most sectors through measures that include the amendment of the relevant laws and regulations. While the Philippines remains committed to the AEC and the AEC blueprint, challenges to implementation remain, including adequate funding and support. The way forward for standards and conformance in the Philippines lies in capacity building and strengthening regulatory institutions.