The Laboratory and Experimental Services Division (LESD) of the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) aims to have a State-of-the-Art laboratory facilities with ISO 9001 accreditation. AT present, ERDB has ten (10) existing laboratories which include Botany Laboratory cum Herbarium, Chemistry, Entomology, Forest Molecular, Microbiology, Pathology, Seed, Soils, Tissue Culture and Zoology Laboratory. Part of the activities of the different laboratories under the project titled “Quality Development and Management Project for Laboratory Services in Support to RDE Programs, Activities and Projects of ERDB Main Office and Research Centers” of the program titled “Sustainability of Laboratory and Experimental/Demonstration Services in Support to RDE Programs, Activities and Projects of ERDB Main Office and Research Centers” of LESD is to cross visit other research laboratory facilities to gather information and improve its existing operation and facilities.

ERDB-LESD staff visited three (3) of the top universities in the country including University of the Philippines - Los Baños Campus (UPLB), Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and University of Santo Tomas (UST) to observe the different operations, equipment and facilities, scientific activities and other quality system elements being carried out in their laboratories.

UPLB-Institute of Plant Breeding (UPLB-IPB) and ADMU’s facilities are designed for teaching/academic purposes which are used by faculty members, undergraduate and graduate students for their classes and conduct of research and thesis. Both universities have high-tech equipment for their Molecular/Genetics Laboratory. Each laboratory of ADMU has an assigned faculty and four (4) laboratory technicians. All the laboratories have complete signages (signs or symbols which enforce safety within the laboratory); eyewash and safety showers, magnetic doors with safety locks and adequate stock of chemicals and reagents.

UST’s laboratory service units are under the UST Research Center for the Natural Sciences and Applied Sciences (RCNAS) which functions as the Science and Technology research arm of the University. These service units include Botany, Molecular, Ecology, Analytical and Microbiology Laboratories which provide technical services including phytochemical analysis, biochemical and microbiological assays to students, researchers, and other clients. All UST laboratories are equipped with first aid kits, safety shower and eyewash station, chemical storage cabinets, fire extinguishers, properly labelled waste cans, emergency lights and signages. They also have high-tech equipment for their Analytical Laboratory and Molecular Laboratory.

All the information gathered from the different universities will be used to serve as basis for the enhancement of ERDB laboratory facilities and in applying for ISO 9001 certification. As the research arm of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), ERDB can provide and ensure its clienteles an improved research and quality research findings through the adoption of these new technologies and innovations. Janine F. Cortiguerra, LESD