Requirement of the Chemistry Profession Act on the Certificate of Authority to Operate Chemical Laboratories

This is to inform all concerned of the passage into law of Republic Act No 10657 otherwise known as the Chemistry Profession Act. This new chemistry law came into full force and effect on 12 April 2015 or fifteen (15) days following its complete publication in the Official Gazette last 27 March 2015.

In this light please be advised of its salient provisions regarding the operation of laboratories performing chemical analyses in the Philippines:

1.) Only firms, corporations, government agencies, academic institutions duly authorized by the Board, that hold a valid certificate may operate a chemical laboratory or engage in the practice of chemistry or chemical analysis in the Philippines ( SEC. 35. Certificate of Authority to Operate for Firms, Corporations and Government Agencies). For the requirements to secure this certificate of authority to operate please see the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 10657 Rule XI section 46 and the Rules and Regulations Implementing Section 35 of Republic Act No. 10567 (Chemistry Profession Act) on the Issuance of Certificates to Operate Chemical Laboratories and Other Related Establishments. Grace period for compliance is 3 years after the law took effect or until April 12 2018.

2.) Only registered Chemists or registered Chemical Technicians holding valid certificates of registration (CRs) and professional identification certificates (PICs) issued by the Board and the Commission can carry out the chemistry practice in the chemical laboratory (Implementing Rules and Regulations RA 10657 Rule XI Section 46 .1)

3.) Only registered Chemists can head a chemical analyses laboratory and certify certificates of analyses. Only registered Chemists and Chemical Technicians can sign the analyzed by section of certificates of analyses (Implementing Rules and Regulations Rule XI Section 46.2)

4.) All new appointments to the following positions or designations must be registered Chemists with valid CRs and PICs: Heads of chemical laboratories / Supervisors of chemical work in a laboratory / Signatories to a chemical analysis (Implementing Rules and Regulations Rule XI Section 56)

5.) Registered chemists and registered chemical technicians working in chemical analyses laboratories are entitled to hazard pay, insurance and legal assistance (SEC. 42. Hazard Pay, Health and Accident Insurance, and Legal Assistance)

Many covered laboratories and establishments are not yet aware of this requirement of the law, thereby placing in jeopardy public safety and interest. We call upon all relevant government agencies, industries and academic institutions, to effectively enforce and implement this provision of the law. Local and international audit and standards accreditation bodies are also requested to include in their audit checklist compliance with such requirement. Most importantly, all covered chemical laboratories and establishments should comply with the requirement to secure the Certificate of Authority to Operate, under pain of penalties as provided for in Section 39 of R. A. No. 10657, which reads: “No chemical laboratory or firm shall undertake activities covered by this Act without a valid authority to operate the same. The president or the highest ranking officer of the corporation shall be held liable for violations of this Act. Upon conviction, these persons shall be sentenced to a penalty of imprisonment for a period of not less than one (1) month but not more than one (1) year, or a fine of not less than one hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) but not more than one million pesos (P1,000,000.00), or both, at the discretion of the court.”

For dissemination to all companies, government agencies, and academic institutions which are operating chemical laboratories and to all audit and standards accreditation bodies for inclusion in their audit checklist for compliance.

Thank you for helping to ensure that the provisions of the Chemistry Profession Act are properly implemented.

Outstanding Chemist for 2017: Call for Nominations

Every year, the Professional Regulation Commission honors the outstanding professional from each profession during the PRC Week which is held every June. We would like to invite ICP members to nominate individuals for the honor of Outstanding Chemist for 2017.

The criteria for selection include the following:
1. Professional Competence and Integrity in the exercise of the Chemistry profession
2. Meaningful participation in professional activities through the professional organization
3. Significant contributions to the advancement of the Chemistry profession
4. Evidence of social responsibility through meaningful social activities

The Outstanding Chemist can come from government, industry or academe. The evidence for outstanding performance will depend on the sector where the nominee comes from. The nominees have to be evaluated and endorsed by ICP. The deadline for submission to ICP is on 1 March (Wednesday).

You may download the criteria by clicking on this link. For relevant forms and further details, please contact the ICP via email (integratedchemists@gmail.com).

Let us recognize the Outstanding Chemists among us!

USC Chem Hosts Security and Safety Workshop

In an effort to engage universities to adopt flexible best practices in campus emergency preparedness, sixteen chemistry practitioners from Mindanao higher educational institutions along with eight University of San Carlos (USC) participants attended the Workshop on Security and Safety in Universities from January 17–20, 2017 held at the Josef Baumgartner Learning Resource Center-Virtual Training Room (JB LRC-VTR) in Talamban Campus, Nasipit, Cebu City.

Under the leadership of chair Eugene T. Bacolod, Ph.D., the USC Department of Chemistry hosted the workshop, which was organized by the International Biological and Chemical Threat Reduction (IBCTR) program of Sandia National Laboratories based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A.

Former American Chemical Society president Nancy B. Jackson, Ph.D., from Sandia’s IBCTR program, and USC chemistry professor Patrick John Y. Lim, Ph.D. served as trainers for the three-and-a-half day workshop. Sandia logistical analyst Bernadette Garcia de Rodriguez accompanied Dr. Jackson and handled the arrangements for the Mindanao participants.

Participants and organizers of the security and safety workshop
 

Participants to the workshop included one dean and four chairs of departments from seven HEIs in Mindanao, namely Agnes T. Aranas (Ateneo de Davao University), Cellyn A. Verallo (Ateneo de Zamboanga University), Julius O. Campecino, Maria Cristina A. Dancel, Ellen dV. Inutan, Joel H. Jorolan, Rachel Anne E. Lagunay, Myrna S. Mahinay, Joanna Kristine E. Pancho, Lunesa C. Pinzon (all from Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology), Grace Prado (MSU-Naawan), Maria Cleofe N. Badang (University of Immaculate Conception), Girlie D. Leopoldo and Rengel Cane E. Sia (University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines), and Heide R. Rabanes and Aileen B. Angcajas (Xavier University).

Participants from USC included Rolly Viesca (Biology), Leonila N. Adarna, Jinky Y. Derla, Sharajen A. Julasiri, Gail Jeremias B. Posas (all from Chemistry), Nikki Marie O. Marquez and Marie Kristie B. Reyes (Water Laboratory), and Talamban Campus Pollution Control Officer Esmeralda S. Cuizon.

The workshop covered security and safety issues including international and national regulations, dual-use chemicals, risk assessment, physical security of chemicals, chemical management and inventory, formulation of standard operating procedures, personal protective equipment, fire protection and prevention, and a security by design module which featured a laboratory design exercise.

Fred Reyes: Democratizing the Beauty Industry

Article originally posted on the Philippine Star.

Fred Reyes

 

Today, the number of beauty clinics is rising rapidly as demand continues to grow from the increasing group of Filipino women (and men) willing to spend more on beauty products and services.

Businesses are scrambling to outdo each other to prove which is better and more effective than the other.

But Fred Reyes has a simple solution: “to offer premium, advanced products and services at affordable prices.”

SkinStation, according to Reyes, is positioned as a clinical grade product and clinic line, which offers world-class products and services at a reasonable price.

Its strategy is to explore and research the most recent trends and innovations in the global beauty industry and develop them into products that fit the local market.

A strong foundation in Chemistry and business

Reyes may be a businessman now, but he never failed to apply his background in Chemistry to bring all his business endeavors to success.

He was a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman.

“I became a chemist because of my high school teacher. She praised me so much in front of the class and I realized, it looks like I’m good at Chemistry,” Reyes recalled.

“So, not knowing that it was one of the avoided subjects in UP, I enrolled in BS Chemistry. When I went in, I found out all my teachers were ‘terror’ professors,” he added with mirth.

But Reyes said he persevered due to his love for the subject and his dream to become a “mad scientist.”

Right after graduating, Reyes said he decided to enter the corporate world because he saw an opportunity to earn big in this sector.

He worked for seven years at Union Carbide (Philippines) Inc., which back then was one of the largest chemical companies in the world.

“When I was with Union Carbide I wasn’t thinking of going into business. We were so pampered. I had a very good assignment and I was going all over Asia,” Reyes said.

He even took up a master’s course in Business, also in UP, while working for the company in order to rise up the corporate ladder. That was where he met his wife, Maria Carleen Reyes, who was taking up a Nursing course.

However, a crisis hit the company back in 1984 due to an accident in Union Carbide’s plant in Bhopal India. The incident caused a leakage of highly toxic and poisonous gases into the surrounding areas. Union Carbide was eventually sold, so employees like Reyes had to explore other alternatives.

His wife, Carleen, went to New York to work as a nurse, while Fred decided to go back to the Philippines to test the waters and put up his company, ChemWorld Marketing Corp. in 1985.

“It was a problem that became an opportunity,” he said.

The evolution of SkinStation

Eventually, Reyes’ company, ChemWorld, became a big distributor of specialty ingredients of personal care products to some of the biggest local and multinational companies in the country.

It also grew into a multidivision company. One of its units is ChemWorld Fragrance Factory, a supplier of oil and fragrances sourced mainly from Europe. It is popular especially for people who want to create their own scents or start a small perfume business.

“We were not just offering ingredients, we’re also offering product concepts, what’s happening outside, in first world countries, we bring it here. I observed that it was in the skin care industry where there’s a lot more innovation going on,” Reyes said.

Having realized this, Reyes decided to branch out into the skin care industry by putting up a new product line and clinic in 1997.

This company offered natural skin care products, with formulations containing licorice extract which back then cost P1 million per kilo.

“We had this natural ingredient, which we found to be very effective and safe at the time when the gold standard in skin whitening was hydroquinone, which is unsafe. But nobody wanted to buy from us because it’s so expensive. At that time, hydroquinone was selling for P350, we were selling the licrorice extract for whitening for P1 million,” Reyes said.

“That’s how it started. Because nobody wanted to buy licorice extract, we started the company, using licorice as the backbone of the formulations,” he added.

However, this company was eventually sold to another corporation, and only its clinic segment remained with Reyes.

In 2010, Reyes and his family started to build something new from the remains of their previous endeavor. They put up the My Sanctuary Wellness Center Inc., the holding company of SkinStation.

Innovative skin care products

According to Reyes, what sets SkinStation apart from its competitors, is that it’s always at the top of the new trends and innovations in skin care technology.

“Whatever is out there, we know. And we continuously introduce these concepts to the Philippine market,” Reyes said.

“Many of these are very advanced that most companies in the Philippines wouldn’t use them because their perception is that there’s not enough market for such high-end products,” he went on.

“But since SkinStation is being positioned for advanced clinical grade skincare, we are able to utilize these new concepts immediately and be the first to introduce these innovative concepts in the local market.”

In fact, SkinStation was the first brand to introduce to the Philippines the application of the nanoencapsulation technology to beauty products.

Reyes explained this technology encapsulates the molecules of active ingredients to make them resilient to stressors, such as water, air and heat, therefore prolonging the efficacy of the skin care products.

It also collapses the molecules into a size “as big as a virus” to make it easier for the active ingredients to penetrate the dermal layer of the skin.

The company uses this technology for its exclusive product line, Dermax Professional.

But nanoencapsulation technology is only one of the many innovations that Reyes brought into the local market. Its products also feature the latest breakthroughs available in the market.

SkinStation was the first in the Philippines to introduce the “waterburst” technology in its new line of sunscreen and BB cream.

A multi-awarded chemist

Reyes’ works in Chemistry and the advancements he introduced to the local skin care business have been recognized by his peers in the industry.

He was awarded the 2008 Achievement Award by the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies and the 2011 Outstanding Professional Award in Chemistry by the Professional Regulations Commission.

Reyes’ two eldest kids, Gerard Cedric and Francis Carl are already involved in running the company, while the youngest has already expressed interest in the business.

According to Reyes, the wide network of SkinStation is a testament to the company’s success in achieving its vision to bring high-end and premium products and services to the local market.

“We aim to be number 1, the undisputed number 1,” he said.

Reyes vowed to continue to be on the lookout for new technology and products in the global beauty industry.

“That has been our strategy, always. Because we want Filipinos to experience high-end and premium services and products which are normally beyond their reach,” he said.