Maribel Nonato is 2020 Outstanding Chemist

The Integrated Chemists of the Philippines (ICP), the accredited professional organization of registered chemists and registered chemical technicians in the country, has the honor of announcing that the Outstanding Chemist of 2020, bestowed by the Professional Regulation Commission, is awarded to Dr Maribel Nonato.

Dr Nonato is one of the country’s leading researchers in the field of medicinal plants chemistry and natural products. She obtained her PhD in Organic Chemistry with specialization in Natural Products Chemistry from the University of Wollongong in Australia in 1993. She also received post-doctoral fellowships at Chiba University (Japan), University of Strathclyde (Scotland), University of Queensland (Australia), and University of Wollongong. She has collaborated with prominent international professors and researchers, published numerous papers and articles on natural products and plant metabolites and presented them in numerous local and international scientific conferences.

Little was known before about pandan as there was barely any previous studies or scientific references about it. To most people, pandan is simply a flavoring agent to certain dishes, nothing more. It was this uncharted territory that Dr Nonato focused her attention on. So in 1991 she started conducting extensive research on Pandanus species endemic to the Philippines, and has been a pioneer in the field ever since. She has explored the chemical and biological potentials of the natural products found in pandan which led to the discovery of its many medicinal attributes. Intensive studies on the plant has found it as a potential source of anti-microbials, antiviral substances, diuretics, antioxidants, as well as anti-inflammatory and antitubercular agents. Her research on novel Pandanus alkaloids paved the way for other countries in the Southeast Asian region to conduct studies on their own variants of pandan. This passion for pandan has earned her the moniker “Pandan Queen” and a new pandan species recently discovered in Quezon province, Freycinetia nonatoi, was named in her honor.

Dr Nonato is a loyal Thomasian through and through. At present, she is the Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila, where she graduated with BSc (1978) and MSc (1986) degrees in chemistry. In addition to being one of UST’s respected administrators, she is also a chemistry professor at its College of Science where she served as college dean from 2008 to 2012 and a researcher at the university’s Research Center for the Natural and Applied Sciences. A proud teacher, Dr Nonato also served as a class adviser to numerous batches of UST’s undergraduate chemistry majors and mentored many students as their research adviser.

Dr Nonato has always been committed in improving the quality of chemistry research and education in the country. Since 2009, she serves as a member of the technical committee for chemistry of the Commission on Higher Education. She is the incumbent president of the Natural Products Society of the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific regional coordinator of the Phytochemical Society of Asia. She also was editor of Acta Manilana (2000-2007) and a paper evaluator for the scientific journals Kimika and the Philippine Journal of Science. In addition, Dr Nonato served as board member (2006-2009) of the Kapisanang Kimika ng Pilipinas; president (2000-2016) of the Organic Chemistry Teachers’ Association; and secretary (2000-2006), vice-president (2006-2008) and president (2008-2012) of the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies.

Dr Nonato is no stranger to awards and accolades for her accomplishments. Some of her noteworthy recognitions include: the National Research Council of the Philippines Achievement Award in Chemical Sciences (2007); the Dr. Gregorio Y. Zara Award for Basic Science Research (2016); and the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies’ Shimadzu Award for Chemical Research (2017). She has also received annual recognitions from UST for her commendable teaching performance, achievements in research and publication, and various roles and capacities in national scientific organizations. In May 2020, Dr Nonato was elected as an academician of the country’s National Academy of Science and Technology.

This year’s Outstanding Chemist is a stalwart of the chemistry profession, and her relentless dedication to research and love for teaching serve as proof of her stellar career. Congratulations Dr Maribel Nonato, the ICP is truly proud of you!

ICP SoMin Conducts 16th General Assembly Online

The Integrated Chemists of the Philippines (ICP) Southern Mindanao Chapter, under the leadership of its chapter president Ms Christine Marie Tupaz, successfully organized their 16th General Assembly with the theme “ICP-SoMin Moving Forward In These Challenging Times” last 10 August 2020. The event was attended by 58 of its members and had to be conducted virtually through Zoom due to physical distancing regulations brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joining the said event were ICP National President Dr Fabian Dayrit and Vice-President for External Affairs Ms Edna Mijares. Dr Dayrit was amazed at the high number of participants that attended the event; he noted that this manifests a high degree of camaraderie among the chapter’s members and urged them to use the chemistry profession as a tool to serve the community well. Ms Mijares likewise stressed the important role of chemists and chemical technicians during the pandemic and reminded the attendees to always act in accordance to pre-existing laws.

The assembly’s main agenda focused on the Career Progression Program for chemistry professionals, as discussed by Ms Krizelle Pamplona, member of the chapter’s board of directors. This program would align the country’s registered chemists and registered chemical technicians to international standards, particularly to neighboring countries in the ASEAN region, for a seamless career and employment transition. Dr Dayrit and Ms Mijares shed light and valuable insights to significant concerns raised by the attendees on this matter.

Chapter treasurer Ms Luzviminda Ranay gave her annual Treasurer’s Report, which showed how the funds were properly allocated for the year and provided plans on how to raise the financial standing of the chapter during the pandemic. Ms Tupaz also gave the President’s Report, detailing the activities conducted in the previous year and planned events in the near future. She also included an update on the status of chemical laboratories in the region and nearby localities which have applied for certificates of authority to operate and echoed other reminders that the Board of Chemistry reported during the 9th Annual Meeting of ICP Chapters. The assembly was also the time to ratify the chapter’s Updated Articles and By-Laws. In addition, an overview of the initial plans for an ICP chapter covering the areas of South Cotabato, Saranggani, and General Santos was also revealed. Interim officers are already in place to work for the initial phase on what would be ICP’s newest regional chapter.

It was not all work though, as the attendees were treated with raffle prizes in between segments which definitely brought further joy and a semblance of the old normal to the assembly.

Though the event had not been held physically, it was still just as fun and informative, enough proof that the closeness of the chapter’s members is unbreakable. Congratulations to ICP SoMin for a successful and historic virtual 16th General Assembly!

ICP Reaccredited as Official Organization of Chemists, Chemical Technicians

The Integrated Chemists of the Philippines (ICP) has renewed its certificate of accreditation as the country’s accredited integrated professional organization for registered chemists and registered chemical technicians.

A three-page resolution signed by members of the Professional Regulatory Board of Chemistry and approved by the chairman and commissioners of the Professional Regulation Commission was signed last 12 August 2020 and is now in effect after being published in a newspaper of general circulation (The Manila Times, 18 August 2020).

Click here to view/download the resolution.

Postponement of the October 2020 Licensure Examinations for Chemists, Chemical Technicians

The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), through a resolution, has announced that the 2020 Chemist and Chemical Technician Licensure Examinations are among those board examinations in October that will NOT push through.

Click here to view/download the said resolution.

For inquiries and concerns, please email the PRC’s Licensure Division at and

Please be guided accordingly. Thank you.

Team Philippines Bags Silver, Bronze Medals in 52nd International Chemistry Olympiad

The Integrated Chemists of the Philippines (ICP) is proud to announce that the country’s competing delegates in the 52nd International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) took home one silver and three bronze medals from the annual event. Slated to be physically held in Istanbul, Turkey, this edition of the IChO featured 235 high school students from sixty countries, and had to be conducted online for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its virtual closing ceremony held on July 30, the IChO awarded medals and citations to the winners. The medalists from the Philippines are:

Silver Medalist
Michael Cole Tantoco (Philippine Science High School [PSHS] Main Campus)

Bronze Medalists
Nathan Wayne Ariston (PSHS Central Mindanao Campus)
Ron Angelo Gelacio (PSHS Main Campus)
Stefan Marcus Ong (Saint Jude Catholic School)

While the gold medal is still elusive, this year’s medal haul is the country’s best-ever performance and also marks the first time that all delegates from Team Philippines will take home one medal each.

Serving as this year’s main coaching staff are: Dr Faith Marie Lagua (De La Salle University), head coach and mentor; Dr Jose Andaya (PSHS CALABARZON Campus), head mentor and country coordinator; and Dr Nestor Valera (Ateneo de Manila University) and Dr Hilbert Magpantay (De La Salle University), coaches and mentors.

First held in 1968, the IChO is an annual competition for high school students in the field of chemistry. The Philippines sent its maiden competing delegation to the competition in 2017, taking home two bronze medals.

Congratulations from the ICP!