ICP President Fabian Dayrit Elected as NAST Vice-President

Dr. Fabian Dayrit, President of the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines (ICP), has been elected as Vice-President of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) of the Philippines, effective 11 February 2016.

From the ICP Board, ICP members, and the entire Philippine chemistry community, congratulations!

The Family That Cared For Richard Heck

This article was written by Dr. Fabian Dayrit, current president of the ICP, and was originally published on the Philippine Chemistry News. Photograph taken from Lindau-Nobel.org.


Unfortunately the portrayal of the events prior to the death of Prof. Heck is incomplete. It’s not true that he died without being cared for. Let me share with you some details that will hopefully give you a better picture of the situation. I am writing this to honor his memory, to show gratitude for his family, and to correct the news that he was not cared for. Richard Heck did have a family that cared for him until his death.

I first met with Prof. Heck a few days after the announcement of his Nobel award in 2010. The Integrated Chemists of the Philippines was organizing the 26th Philippine Chemistry Congress in April 2011, so he would have been a great plenary speaker. We found him living in a modest home in the Tandang Sora area. He had completely retired from Chemistry and had been out of touch with things for over 10 years already. He also suffered from dementia and so did not want to talk science, but was happy to inspire the young. We arranged to have some of our MS Chem students interview him at his home.

At that time, he was almost completely dependent on his wife, Socorro, and his nephew, Michael Nardo. He was also very much attached to Michael’s child. He seemed happy with his simple life. It was also clear that he had no family to go back to in the US so this was his home.

Prof. Heck brought his family along to our chemistry congress in Cebu. We arranged for him to have a session with the student participants in the annual Chemistry quiz contest for high school students, an event which he enjoyed.

Socorro was many years younger than Richard (almost 20 years, I think), and so I was surprised and saddened when she passed away two years ago. Richard’s care fell to the hands of Mike.

People ask about the financials and what has happened to his share of the Nobel funds. I am guessing that Socorro, like all Filipina wives, probably took care of managing the funds. Certainly, I don’t think that Richard would have been in any condition to manage it properly. So when she passed away suddenly, I don’t know if any of the financial information and legal papers would have been attended to. I don’t know if Mike has knowledge of how to manage the legal situation since Heck is a US citizen and Mike is not a “next of kin”.

The Nardos are a family with modest means so it was a big burden for them to take over the care of Richard with the many medical complications that had come up. All they had was Heck’s $2,500 pension and a US insurance company that was delayed in its payments to the hospital. Mike told me that they had to sell their car to raise more funds for Richard’s care. From Mike’s description of Heck’s condition, it’s possible that Alzheimer’s may have been setting in as well.

The first day of the wake on Saturday, October 10, was assigned to the Philippine chemistry societies. I was at the wake in the afternoon when the GMA news crew was interviewing the two caregivers. The reporter was obviously more interested in the news angle that Heck had been abandoned. We asked them whether they wanted to interview others who were also at the wake (Dr. Alvin Culaba, VP of DLSU, and Drs. Armand and Odette Guidote were also there at the time) but they were satisfied with the story line that they got from the caregivers. This was also the story that came out in Rappler.

In addition to the family, we should also be thankful to De La Salle for welcoming Richard to their academic community and for providing for the wake expenses. I am sure that this added to the joy of his final years.

Richard Heck did have a family that cared for him.


Professor Richard Heck received the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, along with Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki. He passed away on 9 October 2015 at the age of 84. His discoveries paved the way for modern cross-coupling reactions, which have revolutionized the production of new organic compounds. After an illustrious career as a professor at the University of Delaware, he retired and chose to reside in the Philippines with his wife, Socorro. In 2012, he received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from De La Salle University, where he also served as an adjunct professor of its Chemistry Department.

Prof. Richard F. Heck, 2010 Nobel Laureate for Chemistry; 84


You may download the ICP tribute to Prof. Heck at this link.

The Integrated Chemists of the Philippines mourns with the international chemistry community on the passing of Professor Richard Heck, Nobel Laureate for Chemistry. He passed away on October 9 at the age of 84.

Along with Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki, Prof. Heck was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2010 for his study on “palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis.” The Heck reaction, a chemical reaction of an unsaturated alkyl halide with an alkene in the presence of a base and a palladium catalyst to form a substituted alkene, was named after him. Heck’s discoveries laid the foundations for all modern cross-coupling reactions. These reactions have revolutionized organic chemistry and are used to make new organic materials, agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, and enabling technologies that impact our daily lives in innumerable ways.

Professor Heck earned both his bachelor’s (1952) and doctor of philosophy (1954) degrees at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). After his post-doctoral stints at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich and back at UCLA, he took a position with the Hercules Corporation in Delaware, USA. In 1971, he went on to be a professor of chemistry at the University of Delaware.

He retired in 1989, and chose to reside in the Philippines with his Filipina wife, Socorro. He was the guest of honor at the 26th Philippine Chemistry Congress in Cebu City in 2011, where he had a special session with high school students. In 2012, he received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from De La Salle University, and served as an adjunct professor of its Chemistry Department.

His remains lie in state at Imperial Chapel, La Funeraria Paz, Araneta Avenue, Quezon City and his interment will be on October 13 at 10:00 am. A necrological service/mass is scheduled on Monday, October 12, at 7:00 pm.


With reports from Reuters, De La Salle University, and University of Delaware.

2015 Chemist Licensure Examination: Results


Please click on a link to download the respective file:

Official Announcement from the PRC

2015 Performance of Schools

2015 Topnotchers

2015 List of Successful Examinees


For successful passers, please download the official invitation of the ICP at this link. Instructions on how to register for your PRC ID and details on the Oath-Taking program can also be found on the said file.

Congratulations to this year’s board-passers!

Senate: Professionals Have To Study, Train Before Licenses Are Renewed

News article retrieved from Rappler.

The Senate approved a bill requiring professionals to undergo further formal and informal learning programs before they can renew their licenses.

Senate Bill 2581 or Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Act of 2015 was approved by the legislative chamber on third and final reading.

“CPD is the post-licensure practice of inculcating skills, knowledge and ethical values upon all professionals through various methods such as formal learning, informal learning, self-directed learning, on-line learning activities and accredited professional work experience,” said Senator Antonio Trillanes IV in a sponsorship speech.

Trillanes chairs the committee on civil service and government reorganization.

The bill also requires government agencies and private firms to include formal and informal learning requirements in their human resource development plan.

It is a response “to the standards in the national, regional and international labor markets” given the envisioned ASEAN economic community.

CPD councils for monitoring of the post-licensure efforts to enhance the competence of professionals will be supervised by Professional Regulatory Boards under the proposed law.

Senate President Franklin Drilon also said the bill helps “in strengthening the Filipino workforce and producing highly-competent professionals, who are considered as our country’s’ best asset due to their leading role in national growth and prosperity.”

Meanwhile, a Senate resolution renamed and expanded the jurisdiction of the Senate Committee on Civil Service and Government Reorganization to the Committee on Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation.

Trillanes said this officially allows “the committee to acquire jurisdiction over significant matters and wide-array of issues on the important role of professionals in nation-building and development of a reservoir of professionals whose competence has been determined by honest and credible licensure examinations and whose standards of professional service and practice are internationally recognized and considered world-class.”