Staying Cool Online Conference Screenshot

In the picture, from left to right, are Business Licensing and Accreditation Division (BLAD) Assistant Division Chief Jhonette D. Cruz, Ms. Kristina D. Javier (OD), DTI Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual, Assistant Secretary Mary Jean T. Pacheco, DTI FTEB Director Atty. Fhillip D. Sawali, FTEB Assistant Director Marimel D. Porciuncula, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technicians Development of the Philippines (RACTAP) President Engr. Augusto Quitco, Business Licensing and Accreditation Division (BLAD) Chief Lucila C. Salili, Mr. Onofre P. Escoto from the Philippine Ozone Desk (POD)-Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Mr. Howard Mark N. Plete from Technical Education And Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and Online Conference Participants.

On 26 October 2023, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) gathered relevant stakeholders in the field of refrigeration and air conditioning in an online conference promoting sustainability among service and repair enterprises (SREs) via online conference.

As part of the Consumer Welfare Month (CWM) celebration, the CPG’s Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) hosted the multisectoral virtual conference entitled “Staying Cool: Role of Service and Repair Shop Accreditation in Sustainability”, in which various resource persons talked about their fields of expertise and answered questions from the participants.

The DTI Consumer Protection Group (CPG), headed by Officer-in-Charge Assistant Secretary Mary Jean T. Pacheco, welcomed the participants, highlighting the significance of the growing cooling industry and this year’s Consumer Welfare Month theme, “GenS: Generation Sustainable”, in support of United Nations Development Goal 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production.

“There is great value in repairing and reusing cooling appliances, for as long as energy efficiency lifecycles are considered, and government accreditation standards are met,” Pacheco said in her opening remarks. She also mentioned DTI’s role of accrediting service and repair shops to ensure the public with reliable and competent services.

DTI Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual, in his keynote message, said that every opportunity to reduce carbon footprint should be explored.  Secretary Pascual emphasized that the development of an affordable refrigerant recovery machine that complements our scientific and technological capabilities has the potential to advance sustainable consumption and production even further.

To secure DTI accreditation, SREs in cooling must have a refrigerant recovery machine. In a positive development, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) will be donating 1,000 units pieces of this equipment to Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) services and repair shops throughout the country to assure that refrigerants are not vent in the atmosphere.

With DTI’s goal of increasing compliance rate in the business sector with accreditation requirement and fostering consumer welfare, Ms. Lucila C. Salili, Chief of the Business Licensing and Accreditation Division (BLAD) of FTEB, discussed the DTI’s accreditation process, requirements for service and repair shops, some statistics and related issues and concerns.

Joining the virtual event as resource speakers are Mr. Augusto T. Quitco, President of the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technicians Development of the Philippines (RACTAP), Mr. Onofre P. Escota of the Philippine Ozone Desk (POD)- the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Mr. Howard Mark N. Plete, Senior Technical Education and Skills Development (TESD) Specialist from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

RACTAP presented its Code of Conduct, which is currently undergoing consultations and revisions while the DENR-POD provided updates on the global agreement to phase out ozone depleting substances used in refrigeration and air conditioning due to its global warming potential. Moreover, in ensuring quality maintenance work, through competent technicians, the TESDA discussed the training regulations for technicians to gain TESDA certification, which is another requirement for SRE accreditation.

As of September 2023, 248 of the 1,032 total SREs with DTI accreditation in Metro Manila are engaged in refrigeration and air conditioning, making it the second-most accredited service provider after motor vehicle repair shops.

FTEB Director Fhillip D. Sawali, closed the online conference by reminding the consumers that they are empowered to make sustainable choices. He also emphasized the need to avail of repair and maintenance services only from DTI-accredited enterprises and to look for the energy efficiency label when purchasing new appliances.

The regulation and accreditation of SREs by DTI are provided for in Presidential Decree No. 1572, series of 1978, and Chapter VII of Republic Act No. 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines. This is to ensure the public of reliable and competent services through standardized maintenance work and best practices.

Concerns about SRE assessments, timetables, as well as accreditation scope and renewal were raised but were all ably addressed by the speakers.