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.

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.