Philippines Opens its First Metrology in Chemistry (MiC) Laboratory
Photo credits: ABRLazo, DRCruz, CBBembenuto, ARCVeranga
The Philippines' first and state-of-the-art Metrology in Chemistry (MiC) Laboratory was inaugurated last November 9, 2021. The inauguration ceremony was led by Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña with Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon M. Lopez as guest of honor and keynote speaker. The MiC Laboratory was established through a 5-year General Appropriations Act and Grants-in-Aid Program of DOST in 2017 entitled Enhancing the Capabilities of the National Metrology Laboratory (NML) of the Philippines with the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) as the implementing agency. Housed in a newly constructed 4-story building, the MiC Laboratory aims to provide local chemical testing laboratories easy access to reference materials (RMs) and accuracy-based proficiency testing (PT) schemes that are locally produced and conducted, respectively. The MiC Laboratory now boasts of producing several matrix RMs for contaminants and toxic elements in food and water whose values have been obtained through higher-order methods using state-of-the-art equipment acquired through the said projects and are now publicly available for sale.
The MiC Laboratory now also conducts accuracy-based proficiency testing schemes using test samples whose values are similarly obtained using higher-order methods. The MiC Laboratory was established through the efforts of Dr. Benilda S. Ebarvia which later won her the 2019 APMP DEN Award for this pioneering work in the Philippines. Assisting her in this endeavor are chemists who have been trained at advanced NMIs of the APMP.
Through the establishment of this new facility, the MiC Laboratory is expected to cater to metrologically traceable chemical measurements, quality control and assurance needs of local chemical testing laboratories, manufacturing and export sectors, and regulators who enforce regulations on food safety and drinking water.
Manuel M. Ruiz