By Elijah Felice Rosales, April 14 2019; Business Mirror

Image Credit to Philippine Star

AS part of efforts to streamline government transactions, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has started processing applications for product standards through an online portal.

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said his agency made it easier for businesses to get their products certified by the government with the launch of the Product Certification Information Management System. The PCIMS is aimed at facilitating ease of doing business through streamlining and automation of frontline service transactions.

The PCIMS features an end to end online and paperless processing of Import Commodity Clearance and Philippine Standard Safety and Quality Certification Mark License, as well as an inventory management of security papers and ICC stickers.

“[The] DTI has made it easy for entrepreneurs and the business community to process certifications and avail of frontline services in the comforts of your home or anywhere. [There is] no need to be present at any DTI office,” Lopez said in a statement on Sunday.

The Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS) last year began utilizing the PCIMS in its ICC processing, and in January ceased its manual applications for the certification.

The online portal also features first in, first out processing; real- time tracking of transaction status; automatic e-mail of statement of account, notice of nonconformance and show-cause orders; and automatic reminder of surveillance schedules and license expiration. However, businesses still need to go to a DTI office to pay the fees and claim the certificates.

On top of facilitating ease, the PCIMS reduces the cost of doing business, Lopez added.

“Businesses will definitely benefit with this shift to online transactions. Apart from the convenience and less time spent on application, it is also cost efficient. We have estimated about P3,600 in savings per application, from P4,170 spent per application down to P557. That is big savings for businesses,” he said.

Further, the DTI is shifting its ICC sticker confirmation through a mobile application intended to assist enforcement officers during market monitoring and consumers in the verification of a product.

The mobile software will allow users to check the legitimacy of ICC stickers through the QR code printed on it. The BPS last year started issuing ICC stickers with QR codes.

The DTI is testing the mobile software and is targeting to launch it within the month.

“However, we want to assure you that this does not end here. This will be a continuing process of reform and automation. We will continue to review and streamline processes in [the] BPS, as well as in other bureaus. The ultimate ease of doing business is enabling people to do things and all transactions online,” the trade chief said.