ICP Conducts Inter-Agency Seminar on Philippine Chemical Regulations

Text and photographs by Priscilla Alice Samonte

The Integrated Chemists of the Philippines (ICP) had conducted the first inter-regulatory seminar in 2013 much to the appreciation of the industry, the academe, and the regulators themselves who were able to disseminate information regarding the mandates of their respective agencies.

ICP President Dr. Fabian Dayrit opens the two-day inter-regulatory seminar

The regulations, since then, have evolved and on February 16-17, 2016 in celebration of Chemistry Week in our country, the ICP successfully conducted one of the much-awaited and a very relevant seminar entitled – Updates on Philippine Chemical Regulations 2016: An Inter-Regulatory Agency Overview. Speakers from the PRC Board of Chemistry, DENR, PDEA, PNP, DOLE-OSHC, and BOC all came together and provided an overview of their regulatory mandates on chemicals in the Philippines.

The Board of Chemistry Chair, Dr. Dory Resurreccion provided an update on the IRR of the revised Chemistry Law RA 10657, especially on the rules and regulations governing the inspection, appraisal, and licensing of chemical laboratories. She also emphasized the scope of work of chemists and chemical technicians in relation to the other allied courses. “Chemistry is vital to public safety, the national economy and the protection of the environment. It is, therefore, the policy of the State to promote, regulate and protect the professional practice of Chemistry and to ensure the continued development and high international standards of the practice of Chemistry in the Philippines.” Several questions were raised and with the ICP Board, the issues were clarified and recommendations were taken into consideration to be reviewed during the crafting of the board resolutions for the said law.

PDEA Director Helen Maita Reyes (second from right) with ICP board directors Dr. Glenn Alea, Ms. Priscilla Alice Samonte, and Ms. Edna Mijares

The very vibrant Director of the Compliance Service of PDEA, Director Helen Maita Reyes, provided a detailed and very dynamic presentation on the Regulatory Control of the Licit Use of Dangerous Drugs and Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals Substances. She also presented updated Board Regulation No. 1 Series of 2014: Comprehensive Amendments to Board Regulation No. 3 Series 2003, “Comprehensive Guidelines on Importation, Distribution, Manufacture, Prescription, Dispensing and Sale of, and Other Lawful Acts in Connection with Any Dangerous Drugs, Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals and Other Similar or Analogous Substances” identifying the new exemptions and simplifications to the registration process. Indeed, PDEA’s efforts in streamlining their registration procedure had been lauded by all the participants.

Mr. Renato Cruz of DENR-EMB with ICP board directors Ms. Priscilla Alice Samonte and Ms. Edna Mijares

Mr, Renato Cruz, Chief of the Environmental Quality Division of DENR Environment Management Bureau gave a very promising presentation on the online registration to facilitate the mandate of RA 6969, Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Control Act of 1990. He also provided an overview on the rules and procedures for the implementation of the globally harmonized system (GHS) of classification and labelling of chemicals in preparation of safety data sheets (SDS) and labelling requirements of toxic chemical substances. The audience were treated on the basic requirements for GHS applications. Finally, Mr. Cruz, also tackled the revisions in the management of hazardous wastes under DAO 2013-22 Revised Procedures and Standards for the Management of Hazardous. He discussed the new haz waste codes and the role of waste generators in the handling of toxic chemicals from CRADLE to GRAVE.

It was unfortunate, that a representative from the PNP-FEO was not present during the seminar, nevertheless, Dr. Fabian Dayrit, lead of the Technical Working Group for the review of the PNP list of regulated chemicals enlightened the audience on the updates of the formation of the IRR for the Rules and Regulations for the Control and Supervision of Importation, Sale and Possession of Chemicals Used as Ingredients in the Manufacture of Explosives and for other purposes (RA 8294, EO 552) focusing on the categorization matrix duly established by the technical experts in collaboration with the PNP-FEO. Although not all concerns could be addressed during the forum, the ICP committed to have the concerns of the institutions brought to PNP attention by March 7, 2016 – a move, valued by the participants who, in the majority have been significantly affected by the said regulations.

Ms. Rosalie Fajilan, Senior Hygienist of DOLE-OSHC presented the DOLE Department Order 136-14 Guidelines for the Implementation of GHS in Chemical safety program in the Workplace, which clarified on the use of GHS and how it should be implemented in the different institutions. Ms. Fajilan delved into the guidelines to ensure not only compliance to the law but also implementing safety protocols in the workplace.

Dr. Jesus Llorando of the BOC with ICP board directors Dr. Fabian Dayrit and Ms. Edna Mijares

Dr. Jesus Garcia Llorando, a well-respected speaker and expert BOC Customs examiner gave the audience the basics behind the implementation of the Importation Regulations. His presentation was well received especially his candid and straightforward responses to each of the questions given by the audience.

Lastly, Mr. Jonathan Chong of Du Pont Far East, Inc. shared industry best practices on regulatory compliance and provided the audience the basic in implementing Product Stewardship highlighting sustainability since Product Stewardship is a principle directing all those involved in the life cycle of a product to take shared responsibility for reducing the health and environmental impacts that result from the production, use and end-of-life management of the product.

At the end of the day, more than 200 participants from government, academe, and industry took away much needed information on the different regulatory agency requirements as well as the three basic rules in regulatory compliance – collaboration, cooperation, and courtesy.


List of uploaded presentations:
BOC Presentation (pdf / 5.5 MB)
GHS-DAO Presentation (pdf / 3.8 MB)
GHS-DOLE Presentation (pdf / 15 MB)
PDEA Presentation (pdf / 6.7 MB)
Categorization of PNP Controlled Chemicals (pdf / 720 kB)

Outstanding Chemist for 2016: 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 2016.

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.

Through the years, we have honored outstanding Chemistry professionals, such as the following:
Dr. Benigno Peczon, Dr. William G. Padolina, Dr. Ester A. Garcia, Dr. Modesto T. Chua, Dr. Fortunato Sevilla III, Dr. Elma C. Llaguno, Ms. Ella Deocadiz, Dr. Aida Aguinaldo, Dr. Alumanda dela Rosa, Dr. Trinidad Trinidad, Dr. Ernesto del Rosario, Gen. Lina Sarmiento, Mr. Fred Reyes, Ms. Teresita Cayton, Dr. Nemesio Montaño, Dr. Amelia Guevara and Dr. Florentino Sumera.

The nominees have to be evaluated and endorsed by ICP. The deadline for submission by the nomination committee to PRC is March 31, 2016.

For more information, please send us an email at integratedchemists@gmail.com.

Design The Chemists’ Seal!: Registered Chemist Official Seal Design Competition (Call for Designs)

Section 33 of the Professional Chemistry Act (R.A. No. 10657) stipulates that: “Each registered chemist shall, upon registration, obtain a seal as prescribed by the Board with the label “Registered Chemist” bearing the registrant’s name and registration number. All official documents or reports that require the certification or signature of the registered chemist shall be stamped with the latter’s personal seal.”

The PRC Board of Chemistry, in cooperation with the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines, is pleased to announce Design The Chemists’ Seal!, a competition for the design of the official seal for the Registered Chemist professional.

The guidelines for this contest are as follows:

  1. This contest is open to all Registered Chemists. Each entry should be submitted using the attached entry form.
  2. The entry should include a brief description (maximum of 50 words) of the seal and how it reflects the practice of Chemistry as embodied in the Professional Chemistry Act.
  3. The submitted entry should be in black & white, about 6” x 6” in size, but should be appropriate for the actual seal which will only be about 1” x 1” in size. The entry should include a soft copy in .bmp format.
  4. Attach the entry form and your design entry to an email addressed to integratedchemists@gmail.com.
  5. All entries should include a signed statement that the seal is an original work and does not infringe any copyright or intellectual property.
  6. All submitted entries will become property of the Board of Chemistry.
  7. The deadline for submission of entries is on April 1, 2016.
  8. The announcement of the winner will be made during the 31st Philippine Chemistry Congress.

The ICP will give a cash prize of P10,000 to the winning entry, a round-trip ticket to attend the 31PCC, and one night accommodation.

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.