The Philippine chemicals industry aims to engage in transforming the nation’s basic resources into a wide range of higher value products that serve domestic as well as global market needs with the best customer value. It is committed to attracting, developing and retaining the best talents who will be at the forefront of product and process innovations while adhering to sustainability and Responsible Care principles. By relentlessly improving products and processes, it will achieve sustainable growth and thus, contribute to the nation’s inclusive growth and socio-economic development.
The industry has agreed to pursue its vision that emphasizes the following goals: (1) the creation of a wide range of products with the best customer value; (2) satisfying domestic demand and becoming a leading contributor to the Philippine export basket; (3) promotion of a high level of workforce productivity; (4) becoming innovative, both in products and processes; (5) developing and managing the industry sustainably to protect the natural assets on which the industry depends; and (6) becoming competitive as an industry so as to provide benefits to the Philippine economy and to the Filipino people.
The industry envisions itself as a major player in the region by 2016. By 2022, it should have established itself as a leading exporter, and it should have developed a strong foothold in the global market by 2030.
To realize these targets, the industry seeks to implement a triple gear recommendation with the following pillars: (a) creation of Engineering and Science Advanced Technology Program (EnSAT) to develop the technical and scientific skill of Filipinos, (b) setting legislative policies that are based on sound technical and scientific studies that take into account the total system in which the chemical industry operates, and (c) establishment of the chemical industry cluster to enable cost-efficiency in production of chemical products. The government is considered as the major stakeholder in the three gears, where it serves the role as the enabling mechanism that will allow for smooth implementation of the recommended programs.
The chemicals industry is a highly diverse industry that 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. It has extensive links with other industries, including agriculture/agribusiness, automotive, cement, creative, construction, energy, fishing, health, housing, and pharmaceuticals industries.
With the global chemicals industry earning an output of US$4.12 trillion in 2010, the Philippine chemicals industry positions itself to contribute to the growing needs of the world economy. The Samahan sa Pilipinas ng mga Industriyang Kimika (SPIK, or the Chemical Industries Association of the Philippines) aims to further develop the industry in the next seventeen years, giving priority to the following sub-sectors: Oleochemicals, Petrochemicals, Inorganic Chemicals, Agrochemicals and Fertilizers, Consumer Care Products, and Chemicals Research and Development.
The prospects are bright for the chemicals industry. One of the primary advantages of investing in the Philippines is its young population. With a median age of 23 years old and a population of 92.3 million, the demographic characteristics of the Philippines point to a large domestic market and a strong manpower base. This young population is also increasingly spending on health and housing needs. More importantly, Filipinos are open to consume organic-based herbal medicines and consumer products. This consumption behavior provides a promising market base for pharmaceutical, personal care, cleaning substances, coatings and other chemicals businesses. Likewise, the amount of natural resources in the country provides an abundant yet cheap source of raw materials. These raw materials can be processed to produce valuable chemicals such as lauric acid.
Given the potential for developing coconut-based chemicals and other oleochemical products in the country, SPIK aims to promote research and development through inter-firm collaboration. In support of the innovative capacity of the industry’s small and medium-scale enterprises, SPIK aims to facilitate technology transfer between them and large-scale companies,especially for consumer care chemicals. Finally, SPIK seeks to strengthen its sustainability and environmental care practices by increasing their members’ compliance to the Responsible CareTM global initiative by 75%.
In line with industry efforts, the Philippine government is improving its research support for the different chemical subsectors. The Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) current research and development programs on chemical products, through the initiatives of the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) and Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), are more open for partnerships with private organizations, particularly proposals for joint research projects with the private sector.
The manufacture of chemicals is among the preferred activities in the IPP.
This covers the production of Oleochemicals, Petrochemicals and derivatives, and Chlor-Alkali Plants products, research & development, and research/testing laboratories.
(1) Oleochemical Products, including the manufacture of fatty acid and fatty alcohol.
(2) Petrochemical products and its derivatives, including, but are not limited to, the manufacture of derivatives from ethylene such as ethylene dichloride (EDC) and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM); olefins and polyolefins [Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polystyrene (PS), and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)], derivatives from propylene, derivatives from mixed C4, and aromatic derivatives.
(3) Chlor-Alkali Plant Products including the manufacture of chlorine, alkali (caustic soda), and hydrochloric acid (muriatic acid).
The certification of chemical products is guided by the Philippine Standard (PS) Quality and/or Safety Certification Mark Scheme.
The Technical Working Group (TWG) for the Chemicals Industry Cluster serves as the coordinating mechanism through which industry concerns are addressed. The TWG is organized into four action tasks, namely:
Among the TWGs activities are the following:
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