Chem Law Hurdles Senate Interpellation

Text and Photographs by Dr. Fabian Dayrit

I am pleased to inform everyone that the Chemistry Bill was finally interpellated on the Senate floor [September 3] and was passed pending final edits which should be submitted by Monday [September 8].


This was the fourth time that we were on the agenda. Unfortunately, during the last three sessions, the discussion did not reach the Chemistry Bill because of so many things which are regularly inserted in the Senate session, including resolutions to congratulate people followed by a lot of photo sessions! Yesterday [September 2] was Grace Poe’s birthday, so the session was suspended to allow senators to greet her. Then all of our young athletes [that competed in the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games] and their families came to be congratulated, including German Moreno who had a nephew for an awardee. By this time, it was already 4:30pm, and the Senate has the practice of ending at 5:00pm.

Fortunately, the Chem Bill made it to the last item on the agenda. Sen. Antonio Trillanes presented the Chem Bill and the interpellation went well. Corrections and revisions were proposed and accepted. The bill will be finalized and resubmitted on Monday. This will then be transmitted to the Lower House.


We should be thankful for the support of Sen. Trillanes and his staff. He told us that last year, [Senator Juan Ponce] Enrile simply blocked all of the bills filed by the Committee on Civil Service which was chaired by Trillanes.

I would like to thank everyone who took the time and effort to be attend the Senate sessions: Dory Resurreccion, Edna Mijares, Armand Guidote, Glenn Alea, and Linda Torres. Thanks also to Elsa Florendo of CHED who has supported us in both the Senate and House.

ICP-SoMin Chapter Holds 10th General Assembly


The 10th General Assembly of the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines-Southern Mindanao Chapter was held last July 19, 2014 at the Villa Margarita Hotel, J.P. Laurel, Davao City.

It was attended by more than 70 of the roster of members from the industry, government and the academe. The General Assembly was supported by DKSH who in turn presented latest advances in instrumentation. Members were happy to receive DKSH tokens and prizes as giveaways throughout the day.

ICP-SoMin President Michael Casas mentioned about the activities undertaken by the chapter in the past year. Mr. Kim Won reported on the status of the chapter’s SEC registration, which has been finally settled, giving the chapter a renewed legal entity status. Ms. Germaine Guerra reported on the Financial Statement and Ms. Christine Tupaz reported on BIR concerns and the draft of the Mortuary Fund.

The chapter is gearing up in the preparations for the 30th Philippine Chemistry Congress which will be held at the Ateneo de Davao University, Davao City on April 15-17, 2015.

ICP-SoMin Holds Measurement Uncertainty and Quality Manual Preparation Seminars


The Integrated Chemists of the Philippines-Southern Mindanao Chapter organized seminars on Measurement Uncertainty and the Preparation of a Quality Manual for ISO 17025 last July 17-18, 2014 at Villa Margarita Hotel, J.P. Laurel, Davao City. The resource speakers for the said topics were Dr. Lilibeth dlC. Coo and Dr. Veronica P. Migo, respectively.

The chapter pushed for the realization of the seminars as capacity-building for chemists and chemical laboratories in Southern Mindanao in preparation for the ASEAN 2015.

Despite the obstacles brought about by Typhoon Glenda, the seminars went through successfully with over 30 participants mainly from the industry and the government. Participants were able dig into calculations for the MU. Workshops were likewise done on the making of the Quality Manual. Generous sponsors include DKSH, Alpha Analytical, Krypton, IARSES and Molave.

Florentino Sumera is 2014 Outstanding Chemist

10006608_717892848275821_3952873148738225046_nRepresenting Dr. Florentino Sumera is his daughter (center), assisted by Ms. Edna Mijares (left) and Dr. Adoracion Resureccion (right). (Photo: Sol Castaneda)

Dr. Florentino C. Sumera was born in September 10, 1951 in the small town of Paombong, Bulacan. He finished his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in 1974, his master’s degree in Chemistry  in 1980 at the University of the Philippines-Diliman and later his PhD at the École Nationale Superieure de Chimie de Rennes, Université de Rennes, France with highest honor in 1985.

Dr. Sumera’s first professional experience was at the Philippine Atomic Energy Commision in 1975 where he was a Nuclear Technologist I, analyzing mercury in tuna by nuclear activation analysis. After a year in PAEC, he returned to his alma mater as instructor to finish his MS thesis on “Plant Growth Hormone from Sargassum”.

After completing his MS Chemistry degree, was awarded a scholarship by the French government to undertake a PhD in Chemistry at the Université de Rennes, where he specialized in organic synthesis. His dissertation, “Contribution a l’étude du dibromoacetonitrile comme glyoxylonitrile potentiel” gained a “Tres Honorable” from the panel of examiners.

Dr. Sumera returned to the Institute of Chemistry, UP Diliman in 1985 to teach Organic Chemistry. From a rank of Assistant Professor, he climbed to the highest Professor level in 2000.

Dr. Sumera became director of the Institute of Chemistry for three years from 1993-1996 and Materials Science Coordinator in 2006-2009. He was invited for fellowships abroad, such as the IDP Fellowship to Australia (1986), UNESCO fellowship to the University of Auckland, New Zealand (1987), and as a visiting scientist by JSPS at the Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan. He was awarded the “Outstanding Young Scientist” by the National Academy of Sciences and Technology in 1991, the Federation of Chemical Societies Award for Chemical Research in 2007, the National Research Council of the Philippines Achievement Award in 2012, and now the Outstanding Professional Award in Chemistry this 2014 by the Philippine Regulation Commission. Besides these he has received awards for research papers, such as the Outstanding Research Award (Department of Science and Technology) in 1991 and 1993, the Outstanding Published Paper Award by National Academy of Science and Technology in 1994, International Publication Award by University of the Philippines in 2000, 2006, and in 2007, the National R & D Paper Award Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Agricultural Research in 2005, the Centenial Professorial Chair (UP) in 2005, 2008, 2009, 2012, and 2013, and  the Antonio de Leon UP Chemistry Award in 2008, and the “Gawad sa Natatanging Publikasyon sa Filipino” of UP Sentro ng Wikang Filipino also in 2008 for his
Filipino book in Organic Chemistry.

Dr. Sumera has mentored 2 PhD, 16 MS, and 65 BS students in their theses. He has published 8 ISI, 20 local papers, and presented 37 papers in the local chemistry symposia and 13 in the international chemistry symposia. His current research interest is in the design, synthesis and characterization of polymers and nanomaterials which include coordination polymers, surface coating, electropolymerized polymers capable of controlled assembly and self organization in ultra thin films and preparation of nanomaterials and nanocomposite hybrid materials. Their properties includes smart coatings, electrically conducting, photoluminiscent, energy harvesting, drug delivery and biocompatible as well as biodegradable polymers. Besides these, he is also involved in the synthesis of new compounds and derivatives of natural products with biological activities such as those with insecticidal and medicinal properties.