The Philippines will host an international meeting on globally-recognized GS1 barcoding system in a commitment to advance consumer protection in light of the South East Asian economic integration in 2015.

The chief executives of GS1 organizations in Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) particularly Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and the regional representation of the GS1 Global Office in Brussels, Belgium will be the country’s guests.

GS1 Philippines will host the meeting that will commence in a welcome cocktail on August 4, 2014 at the Crowne Plaza Galleria.

“Having identified a range of opportunities for cooperation in the region in preparation for the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015, this meeting will solidify and coordinate the GS1 ASEAN regional activities,” according to GS1 Philippines President Jose A. Albert.

Among Philippine groups that are expected to join the meeting are Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine Assn of Supermarkets Inc, Philippine Food Processors & Exporters Organization, Philippine Exporters Confderation, and Retailers Council of the Philippines.

Other expected Philippine participants are Philippine Retailers Assn, Packaging Institute, Chamber of Cosmetics Industry, Soap & Detergent ASsn., Pharmaceutical & Health ASsn, Philippine Chamber of Food Manufacturers, and Beverage Industry Assn.

The barcoding system being pushed by GS1 is seen to enhance protection of consumers amid an expected influx of many types of imported goods by 2015.

The system ensures that products– especially medicine and health products– are tracked wherever these are found–from the stores up to the manufacturing site.

This way, defective or fake products are recalled from the market in order to stop harm on consumers and patients.

The system is recognized by the World Customs Organization and the World Health Organization.

GS1is an international non-profit association present in more than 100 countries.

Through it technical expertise, it provides training and support to companies and organizations on the production of barcodes (numbering and barcoding system).

The barcoding system will also improve supply chain management– the series of steps in the process of moving goods and services from raw materials to consumers. It will help reduce cost of manufacturing goods over the long term.

GS1 also has expertise on specialized fields of eCom (EDI or Electronic Data Interchange) and Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN).

It supports the use of the technology called radio frequency identification (RFID). It is a system of identifying objects that bear tags through wireless transmission of data. RFID enables tracking of specific locations of products across the world.

The Philippines Food and Drug Administration (FDA), formerly Bureau of Food and Drugs, has already issued a policy mandating a barcoding system for health products. GS1 supports this policy, the FDA Circular 2014-011.

The circular adopts the so-called Unique Global Product Identification Number.

The number in the barcoding system is unique for each product and is specific up to the level of each bottle or package of a product. And if the package has different products inside it, the numbering code is specific up to the different products within the package.

This way, all products may be differentiated from each other, easily identifying the ones that cause harm.

The system will also eliminate many causes of mis-medication in hospitals.

“There are many cases of mis-medication, and there have been records of death around the world. The system tracks and traces everything that moves. If you’re able to do that in the hospital, you can double check drugs being administered on a patient,” said Albert.

For any questions or interview requests, please contact Ms. Analiza C. Mendoza, 0921-338-3816, 0916-266-6604; Mr. Jose A. Albert, 639-0557, 708-9798.