Text by Ms. Priscilla Alice Samonte, photographs by Dr. Glenn Alea
Left to right: ICP Board of Directors Ms. Ludy Avendaño, Ms. Edna Mijares, and Dr. Lilibeth Coo
Gong Xi Fa Cai! It’s a new year for us chemists as we now have an updated law for the sustainability and development of our profession. A few days prior to the Chinese New Year, we all learned that House Bill (HB) 5016 – an Act Regulating and Modernizing the Practice of Chemistry in the Philippines, repealing for the purpose Republic Act Numbered Seven Hundred Fifty-Four (RA 754) otherwise known as the Chemistry Law of the Philippines, is now on the President’s table for signing. When signed, the new law will be known as the “Chemistry Profession Act”.
The current law (RA 754) was promulgated on June 18 1952. It is definitely high time for an update to respond to the current needs, not only brought about by international standards but also by the rapid changes in technology and the science itself. Since 1998, RA 754 was in the works to be modernized and now with the adoption of the Senate of the House Bill 5016, it is indeed a celebration as on February 17, 2015 a symposium to disseminate information on the new law was held at the PNP Multi-purpose Hall in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
First and foremost, HB 5016 regulates Chemistry as a profession but not as a science (e.g., research). The Chemistry Profession Act empowers the responsibility of both registered chemists and chemical technical technicians in certifying technical documents and chemical analyses. The law also defines the scope of practice of chemistry including managing all analytical laboratories, sale of chemicals and laboratory equipment, and teaching basic chemistry subjects in the universities.
Representative Victoria Noel (center) receives plaque of appreciation from ICP President Dr. Fabian Dayrit (left) and VP-Externals Ms. Edna Mijares (right) for her contributions in passing the Chemistry Profession Act
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV (center) receives plaque of appreciation from ICP Treasurer Dr. Lilibeth Coo (left) and ICP President Dr. Fabian Dayrit (right) for his contributions in passing the Chemistry Profession Act
In this regard, we invite all Filipino chemists to share in our joy and celebrate the new law by helping the Board of Chemistry and the ICP in disseminating the information to their companies/association and to all stakeholders. Finally, we say thank you to the following people who helped us make the law a reality – Cong. Victoria Noel, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, Hon. Angelo Palmones, Hon. Bem Noel, former Congressman Conrado Estrella, III and many more. Cheers to all!