Manila, May 29, 2017 – The Professional Regulation Commission announces that pursuant to Republic Act No. 10657 otherwise known as the “Chemistry Profession Act” which came into full force and effect on April 12, 2015, the Certificate of Authority to Operate is required for all chemical laboratories.
In this light, please be advised of its salient provisions regarding the operation of laboratories performing chemical analysis in the Philippines, as follows:
1) Only firms, corporations, government agencies, academic institutions duly authorized by the Board, that hold a valid certificate may operate a chemical laboratory or engage in the practice of chemistry or chemical analysis in the Philippines. For the requirements to secure the Certificate of Authority for firms, corporations and government agencies to operate, kindly refer to the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 10657, Rule XI, Section 46 and the Rules and Regulations Implementing Section 35 of the said Act on the Issuance of Certificates to Operate Chemical Laboratories and Other Related Establishments. Grace period of compliance is 3 years after the law took effect or until April 12, 2018.
2) Only registered Chemists or registered Chemical Technicians holding valid certificates or registration (CORs) and professional identification cards (PICs) issued by the Board and the Commission can carry out the chemistry practice in the chemical laboratory (IRR Rule XI Section 46.1).
3) Only registered Chemists can head a chemical analyses laboratory and certify certificates of analyses. Only registered Chemists and Chemical Technicians can sign the analyzed by section of certificates of analyses – this provision takes effect immediately (IRR Rule X Section 46.2).
4) All new appointments to the following position or designations must be registered Chemists with valid CORs and PICs: Heads of chemical laboratories/Supervisors of chemical work in laboratory/Signatories to a chemical analysis. (IRR Rule XI Section 56).
5) Registered Chemists and registered chemical technicians working in chemical analyses laboratories are entitled to hazard pay, insurance and legal assistance (Sec. 42. Hazard Pay, Health and Accident Insurance, and Legal Assistance).
Many covered laboratories and establishments are not yet aware of this requirement of the law, thereby placing in jeopardy public safety and interest. All relevant government agencies, industries and academic institutions, are hereby enjoined to effectively enforce and implement this provision of the law. Local and international audit and standards accreditation bodies are also requested to include in their audit checklist the compliance with these requirements. Most importantly, all covered chemical laboratories and establishments should comply with the requirement to secure the Certificate of Authority to Operate, under pain of penalties as provided for in Section 39 of R.A. 10657, which reads:
“No Chemical laboratory of firm shall undertake activities covered by this Act without a valid authority to operate the same. The president or the highest ranking officer of the corporation shall be held liable for violations of this Act. Upon conviction, these persons sentenced to a penalty of imprisonment for a period of not less than one (1) but not more than one (1) year, or a fine of not less than one million pesos (P1,000,000.00), or both, at the discretion of the court.”
This is to inform and disseminate to all companies, government agencies and academic institutions which are operating chemical laboratories and to all audit and standards accreditation bodies for inclusion in their audit checklist for compliance.
The assistance and cooperation of all concerned will ensure that the provisions of the Chemistry Profession Act are properly implemented.