17 February 2014

SBMA achieves rare feat in ISO certification leading to banner year

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority attained its ISO 9001:2008 certification with absolutely "zero minor and major non-conformities" on its first audit, a rare feat that no other Philippine government agency has ever achieved.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Roberto V. Garcia said that when the agency began working for its ISO certification, it began paving the way not only for sustained world-class quality management system, but also toward superior financial performance. The agency started working to meet the requirements for an ISO 9001:2008 certificate from AJA Registrars in October 2012.

“Quality management is one of the reasons why 2013 became a banner year for the SBMA,” Garcia revealed.

Garcia said that unknown to the various departments that toiled hard to meet the standards, they were also working on something that would soon yield a record-shattering net income of P1 billion in 2013, the biggest in SBMA’s 21-year history.

“On the surface, we were aiming for quality certification, but deep down in the core of the organization we were building something more significant—a better system, and a culture of excellence that helped us achieve something big,” Garcia added.

“Now, with the quality management system in place and the SBMA reporting a net profit of P1.2 billion last year, more investors are showing interest to invest in Subic,” the SBMA official added.

Meanwhile, SBMA Total Quality Management (TQM) manager John Aquino said that the “zero major non-conformity, zero minor non-conformity” findings by AJA Registrars on its first surveillance audit can be considered a legacy in the history of government offices.

“It is a very rare situation that a government agency could maintain this level of conformance,” said Aquino, who is also an assessor of the Philippine Quality Award, a presidential project to recognize public and private institutions committed to quality and excellence.

Aquino also explained that because the SBMA not only maintained the quality management system but also has shown improvement by resolving one observation recorded during the AJA audit on October 3 2012, AJA recommended that SBMA continue with its ISO certification program until 2016.

The ISO 9001:2008 certification specifies requirements for a quality management system where an organization needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide product that meets customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

It aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for continual improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

All departments of the SBMA completed the requirements in April 2013 in pursuance of the ISO 9001:2008 certification.

The scope of registration included the Internal Services Group with 10 offices or departments; Maritime, Business and Investment Group with seven offices/departments; Regulatory Group with six offices/departments; and the Chairman and Administrator-CEO Group, which has six offices and departments.

ISO certification and quality management in government institutions were required, respectively, through Executive Order 605 and Administrative Order 161, which were both signed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)