ICP’s Panay, Bacolod Chapters Conduct Separate Virtual General Assemblies

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic did not hinder two regional chapters of the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines (ICP) to each conduct an inaugural virtual general assembly for their respective members last 30 January 2021.

The virtual general assembly of ICP-Panay Chapter via Zoom gathered around 80 of its members. No less than ICP National President Dr Fabian Dayrit and ICP National Vice-President for External Affairs Ms Edna Mijares graced the event. Dr Dayrit gave a summary of activities that were done by the national chapter, while Ms Mijares echoed the Professional Board of Chemistry’s presentation on the career progression program for chemistry professionals. Outgoing chapter president Mr Steve Janagap and outgoing chapter treasurer Ms Aneline Tolones also gave their respective reports on the summary of activities in the past year and the state of financial health of the chapter.

Two lectures then followed: Mr Arjunn Marven Calvo (Legal Section Chief, Environmental Management Bureau Regional Office VI) talked on environmental laws that chemical laboratories must strictly practice, while Dr Annabelle Villalobos (Consultant, Johnson & Johnson Biopharmaceuticals, USA) explained in-depth the challenges and current situation of COVID-19 vaccines. Both lectures provided a wealth of knowledge to the attendees.

Their general assembly also served as a way to elect new officers of the chapter. Professor Jay Martizano of the University of the Philippines Visayas was unanimously elected as ICP-Panay’s new Chapter President. He and other newly elected chapter officers were inducted by ICP National President Dr Fabian Dayrit.

Meanwhile, ICP-Bacolod Chapter held its first virtual general membership meeting via Google Meet with around 50 members in attendance. ICP National Vice-President for External Affairs gave the opening remarks and answered a few questions regarding certain issues such as laboratory inspection and hazard pay. Chapter President Ms Roselyn Usero provided a summary of activities that the chapter was able to accomplish in the past year, most notably the assistance that the chapter provided to COVID-19 frontliners in the area. The meeting was not all work as prizes such as shirts and lanyards were raffled off, much to the delight of the attendees.

Hazard Pay Now Mandatory for DOST’s Contractual Chemists, Chemical Technicians

The year 2021 is off to a good start as registered chemists and registered chemical technicians working on a project-based and/or contractual manner, specifically those employed in chemical laboratories of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), will now be able to receive hazard pay.

The administrative order, signed by no less than DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña himself and effective immediately, ensures that all project-based and/or Contract of Services registered chemists and registered chemical technicians working in chemical laboratories under the DOST system and its 17 regional offices and 5 affiliated agencies shall be entitled to the payment of hazard pay over and above the compensation they are receiving.

Click here to view the administrative order.

The Integrated Chemists of the Philippines is grateful to the three-member Professional Regulatory Board of Chemistry — composed of Dr Adoracion Resurreccion, Dr Soledad Castañeda, and Ms Ma Theresa Cayton — for their relentless work to produce this output for the benefit of registered chemistry professionals in the country.

Boards of Chemistry, Pharmacy Issue Joint Resolution on Authority to Sign Analysis Certification of Certain Products

The Professional Regulatory Boards of Chemistry and Pharmacy have released a joint resolution on the authority to sign analysis certification of pharmaceutical products and their raw materials, food or dietary supplements, health supplements, and cosmetics.

This joint resolution permits registered chemists and registered pharmacists to validly sign certificates of analysis of the aforementioned products before being allowed for public use or consumption.

Click on this link to view the said joint resolution.

The resolution was done on 23 December 2020, and is deemed effective after being published on 8 January 2021.

Virtual 4th National Conference of Chemical Laboratories Successfully Held

The Integrated Chemists of the Philippines (ICP) succesfully hosted the 4th National Conference of Chemical Laboratories (NCCL) last 23-25 November 2020 with the theme “New Normal, New Solutions”. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 4th edition of the NCCL was held virtually for the first time via Cisco Webex. Over a thousand participants from various parts of the country and even from other parts of the world seized the opportunity to attend the virtual conference to update themselves of the latest news and regulations regarding the practice of the chemistry profession in the Philippines. ICP President Dr Fabian Dayrit, in his opening remarks, warmly welcomed the participants and stressed the important service chemical laboratories provide despite the pandemic.

The conference started off with the major feature and much anticipated portion of the NCCL: a meeting and discussion between the Board of Chemistry (BOC) and representatives of chemical laboratories. Dr Soledad Castaneda updated the audience regarding the country’s career progression and specialization program for chemistry professionals. Meanwhile, Dr Adoracion Resurreccion gave an update on the continuing professional development. And lastly, Ms Theresa Cayton presented the status of inspection of chemical laboratories that the BOC conducted this past year. After a lunch gap, Dr Annabelle Briones (Industrial Technology Development Institute, Department of Science and Technology, DOST) talked on OneLab, a network of DOST-affiliated laboratories. Ms Rose Mylene Sotocinal (Department of Health, DOH) explained the new DOH guidelines on the accreditation of laboratories that conduct drinking water analysis. To end the 4th NCCL’s first day, Dr Bonifacio Magtibay (Regional Office for Western Pacific, World Health Organization, WHO) gave a talk on the WHO’s guidelines on the preparation of disinfectants.

The second day started off with twin updates from the Philippine Accreditation Bureau (PAB) and Environmental Management Bureau (EMB). Mr Marlon Macadamia (PAB) announced that PAB would be conducting remote assessment of chemical laboratories to addess the physical distancing guidelines during this pandemic. Meanwhile, Mr Roger Evangelista (EMB) informed the participants regarding the latest news on EMB’s efforts to minimize waste and the procedures that the laboratories must take in order for their generated waste to be properly disposed of. Live and direct from Singapore, Ms Wee Siew Moi (Nestle Singapore) gave a lecture on the latest techniques in detecting chemical contaminants present in the environment and food. Meanwhile, Major Carmelo Velasco (Philippine National Police) provided the latest news regarding the sale and use of explosives, and Ms Judy Olvido (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) tackled on regulations on essential and precursor chemicals.

The highlight of this year’s NCCL was the sharing of best practices of chemical laboratories in the new normal, conducted on the third and final day. Mr Alvin Basco (Ostrea Laboratories), Ms Maria Carmela Capule (CRL Environmental Corporation), and Ms Edna Mijares (Jefcor Laboratories) provided their respective laboratories’ stringent measures in implementing distancing regulations while at work and their protocols in how to handle COVID-19 positive individuals while at work.

In her closing remarks, ICP Vice-President for External Affairs Ms Edna Mijares underscored the utmost cooperation of each chemistry professional and their collective role in improving the state of the country’s chemistry profession as we all safely navigate through this pandemic and embark on a new normal.

Now on its fourth year, the NCCL aims to provide chemistry professionals the relevant updates on various chemical regulations and be a venue for sharing best practices among professionals and laboratories.

ICP’s Cordillera Chapter Officially Launched

The Integrated Chemists of the Philippines (ICP) continues to expand its membership base as it welcomes the ICP Cordillera Administrative Region (ICP-CAR) Chapter.

The chapter’s launch was held via Zoom on 17 October 2020 and was graced by ICP National Chapter President Dr Fabian Dayrit and Vice-President for External Affairs Ms Edna Mijares. Also gracing the launch was ICP Region 3 Chapter President Ms Maria Carmela Capule, who served as the catalyst in the formation of the said chapter by reaching out to registered chemists and registered chemical technicians based in Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Mountain Province.

During the virtual launch, the inaugural set of officers of the ICP-CAR Chapter were inducted by Dr Dayrit. The chapter officers are:

President: Jasmin Lee-Donaal
Vice-President: Angeline O. Marino
Secretary: Melanie S. Manuel
Treasurer: Rowena Canlas
Auditor: John Patrick Dela Cruz
Public Information Officer: Jenika Lou Javier
Board Members: Gina Claire Bentican, Erahem Medz Cabural, Ma. Cecilia Bucasas

In his remarks, Dr Dayrit applauded Ms Capule for her initiative in forming the ICP-CAR Chapter. He highlighted the importance of chemistry in regional and national development, and stressed that effective membership drive and publicity are integral in the development of chemistry professionals in the academe, government, and industry in the said area. Ms Lee-Donaal, in her brief message, said that her administration is up to the challenge to support and attain the vision and mission of the ICP in her jurisdiction.

Congratulations and welcome to the ICP family, ICP-CAR Chapter! Let us all work together for the benefit of all registered chemistry professionals and the improvement of the state of chemistry in the region!