The Board of Investments (BOI) is set to meet with stakeholders next week to discuss the proposed Philippine National Police Memorandum Circular (PNP MC) that outlines the implementing regulations for controlled chemicals.

The PNP is mandated by law to regulate chemicals used to produce explosives.  PNP’s current list of controlled chemicals include common household chemicals, including those that are used by sectors such as the electronics and semiconductor manufacturers.  Companies that use these chemicals are required to secure a permit from the PNP to import, handle, or transport chemicals.

The PNP issued a 60-day moratorium from December 9, 2015 to February 9, 2016 temporarily suspending this regulation to facilitate a review of the existing list and the attendant regulations. The draft PNP MC, the output of this review, is expected to be signed by mid-February.

“The government and private sector have been working together to address barriers to enhance the ease of doing business in our country. We are seeking a balanced solution to regulate the industry while simplifying the processes involved in securing PNP permits and licenses,”  Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary and Board of Investments (BOI) Managing Head Dr. Ceferino S. Rodolfo said.

The PNP MC includes the list of controlled chemicals, the proposed procedures to streamline regulation, including storage, handling and transport, and the accreditation guidelines for third party logistics providers, and company-owned vehicles. The PNP MC will be reviewed periodically by the Technical Working Group (TWG) for PNP Controlled Chemicals.

The DTI, through BOI, and the DILG are co-chairs of the TWG for Controlled Chemicals. The TWG works closely with stakeholders in processing the list to identify which controlled chemicals may be deregulated and which ones are kept in the regulated list. The TWG aims to simplify the processes in securing PNP permits and licenses as well.  The TWG, composed of representatives from the relevant government agencies and the private sector, is regularly convened by the BOI to serve as a venue in addressing industry concerns.

The Chemical Industry Roadmap, crafted by the private sector under the BOI Industry Roadmap Project, identified the need to streamline business processes to improve the industry’s competitiveness. Gretchen Fontejon-Enarle, president of SPIK, said “Our long sought-after moratorium on 41 PNP controlled chemicals was finally heeded during the meeting convened by the BOI in December 2015. Now, we have the opportunity to work with PNP in coming up with mutually agreed principles on regulations.”

The global chemicals industry registered revenues of US$4.12 trillion in 2010 and the Philippine Chemicals Industry Roadmap envisions capitalizing on the growing needs of the world economy.

The Philippine chemicals industry is the 3rd largest subsector of the manufacturing industry and consists of two major sectors: (1) chemical and chemical products; and (2) rubber and plastics products. There are 1,400 registered chemical manufacturing firms directly employing more than 93,000 personnel. And in terms of revenues, domestic production has been growing an average of 7% per annum.

The chemicals industry is highly diverse and covers raw materials, such as oil, water, air, and minerals, which are converted into a wide array of substances for use by other chemical companies, producers in other industries, and other consumers. The industry has extensive links with other industries including agriculture/agribusiness, automotive, cement, creative, construction, energy, fishing, health, housing, and pharmaceuticals industries.