New Year, New Law?

Text by Ms. Priscilla Alice Samonte, photographs by Dr. Glenn Alea


Left to right: ICP Board of Directors Ms. Ludy Avendaño, Ms. Edna Mijares, and Dr. Lilibeth Coo

Gong Xi Fa Cai! It’s a new year for us chemists as we now have an updated law for the sustainability and development of our profession. A few days prior to the Chinese New Year, we all learned that House Bill (HB) 5016 – an Act Regulating and Modernizing the Practice of Chemistry in the Philippines, repealing for the purpose Republic Act Numbered Seven Hundred Fifty-Four (RA 754) otherwise known as the Chemistry Law of the Philippines, is now on the President’s table for signing. When signed, the new law will be known as the “Chemistry Profession Act”.

The current law (RA 754) was promulgated on June 18 1952. It is definitely high time for an update to respond to the current needs, not only brought about by international standards but also by the rapid changes in technology and the science itself. Since 1998, RA 754 was in the works to be modernized and now with the adoption of the Senate of the House Bill 5016, it is indeed a celebration as on February 17, 2015 a symposium to disseminate information on the new law was held at the PNP Multi-purpose Hall in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

First and foremost, HB 5016 regulates Chemistry as a profession but not as a science (e.g., research). The Chemistry Profession Act empowers the responsibility of both registered chemists and chemical technical technicians in certifying technical documents and chemical analyses. The law also defines the scope of practice of chemistry including managing all analytical laboratories, sale of chemicals and laboratory equipment, and teaching basic chemistry subjects in the universities.


Representative Victoria Noel (center) receives plaque of appreciation from ICP President Dr. Fabian Dayrit (left) and VP-Externals Ms. Edna Mijares (right) for her contributions in passing the Chemistry Profession Act

Lilibeth Coo and Toby Dayrit award ICP plaque to Sen  Trillanes

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV (center) receives plaque of appreciation from ICP Treasurer Dr. Lilibeth Coo (left) and ICP President Dr. Fabian Dayrit (right) for his contributions in passing the Chemistry Profession Act


In this regard, we invite all Filipino chemists to share in our joy and celebrate the new law by helping the Board of Chemistry and the ICP in disseminating the information to their companies/association and to all stakeholders. Finally, we say thank you to the following people who helped us make the law a reality – Cong. Victoria Noel, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, Hon. Angelo Palmones, Hon. Bem Noel, former Congressman Conrado Estrella, III and many more. Cheers to all!

House Approves Bill Modernizing Practice of Chemistry

This article was originally published on the House of Representatives website.

The House of Representatives has approved on 2nd Reading the bill regulating and modernizing the practice of Chemistry in the country to make it attuned and responsive to modern scientific and technological developments, the rise in international standards and global competition, and concerns for the environment and climate change, among others.

The House Committee on Civil Service and Professional Regulation chaired by Rep. Andres D. Salvacion, Jr. (3rd District, Leyte) earlier endorsed and defended in plenary House Bill 5016, in substitution of HB 1706 authored by Rep. Victoria G. Noel (Partylist AN-WARAY), seeking to regulate and modernize the practice of Chemistry in the country by repealing Republic Act 754, otherwise known as The Chemistry Law of the Philippines.

Noel said there is now a need to update the Chemistry Law, enacted on June 18, 1952, to make it more responsive to recent changes brought about by rapid developments in Chemistry, Science and Technology, the rise of international standards, global competition and also concerns for the environment, climate change, and sustainable development.

“Today, for example, sophisticated chemical designs, synthesis and analyses are required in a wide variety of application, such as environment, water, food products, pharmaceuticals, forensics, plastics and polymers, materials, and many others,” said Noel, an Assistant Majority Leader.

She explained that Chemistry has two important aspects: Chemistry as a scientific and academic endeavor; and Chemistry as applied to public safety, public interest and the national economy. “The Chemistry Law should promote the former, but should regulate the latter,” said Noel.

House Bill 5016 or the proposed Chemistry Profession Act provides that Chemistry is vital to public safety, the national economy and the protection of the environment. It is the State policy to promote, regulate and protect the professional practice of Chemistry and ensure the continued development and high international standards of its practice in the country.

The bill refers to Chemistry as the study, analysis, modification and calculations of physico-chemical or biochemical properties of matter. It provides that the professional practice of Chemistry covers the performance of a service related to the public interest, public safety, legal or regulatory matters.

The following shall be the functions of the registered chemists, among others: perform chemical analysis or chemical synthesis; certify a chemical analysis or chemical synthesis; inspect a laboratory with respect to its chemical or biochemical activities; supervise a chemical laboratory; teach, lecture and review a professional Chemistry subject in the curriculum of the Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree or a subject in the Chemistry licensure examination given in any college, university, or training or review center or any other educational institution or certification body; supervise sale of chemicals, chemical apparatus or chemical equipment; and functions related to the management of chemicals such as chemical safety, chemical waste management, pollution control and the like.

The measure provides for the creation of a Professional Regulatory Board of Chemistry, under the administrative control and supervision of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). Among the powers and duties of the Board are to: supervise and regulate the practice of Chemistry in the country; determine the requirements and evaluate the qualifications of the applicants for registration and renewal of license of registered chemists and registered chemical technicians; prescribe the subjects in the licensure examination, determine the syllabi of the subjects and their relative weights, construct the exam questions and submit the exam results to the PRC; adopt and promulgate the Code of Ethics and Code of Good Governance for the practice of Chemistry; hear and decide administrative cases filed against chemists, chemical technicians, and the owners and administrators of chemical laboratories; and inquire into the conditions affecting the practice of the profession and adopt measures to enhance and maintain the high professional, ethical and technical standards.

The Board shall be composed of a Chairperson and two members to be appointed by the President of the Philippines from a list of three recommendees for each position ranked by the PRC from a list of five nominees for each position submitted by the Accredited Professional Organization (APO) of chemists, the bill provides. They shall hold office for a term of three years from the date of appointment or until their successors have been appointed.

No person shall practice or offer to practice as chemist or chemical technician without having previously obtained a certificate of registration from the Board and a professional identification card, unless exempt from registration or from said requirements, the bill provides.

All applicants for registration for the practice of Chemistry and Chemical Analysis shall be required to pass the licensure examination, the bill provides. The measure likewise enumerates the scope of examination for chemists, qualifications of an applicant for chemical technician, and scope of examination for chemical technician.

For Chemistry licensure examination, the examinee must obtain a general average of at least 70 percent and no rating less than 50 percent in any subject. If the examinee passes any two subjects, he or she shall automatically qualify as a chemical technician. For chemical technician licensure examination, the examinee must obtain an overall average of at least 70 percent and no rating less than 50 percent in any subject, the bill provides.

House Bill 5016 is co-authored by Andres, Reps. Jesulito A. Manalo (Party-list, ANGKLA), Julieta A. Cortuna (Party-list, A Teacher), Jonathan A. dela Cruz (Party-list, ABAKADA), Philip A. Pichay (1st District, Surigao del Sur), Sergio A.F. Apostol (2nd District, Leyte), Leah S. Paquiz (Party-list, Ang Nars), Carlos M. Padilla (Lone District, Nueva Vizcaya), Victor J. Yu (1st District, Zamboanga del Sur), Celso L. Lobregat (1st District, Zamboanga City) and Anthony G. del Rosario (1st District, Davao del Norte).

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.