7 PH Gov’t agencies join US-facilitated virtual chemical security workshop

Published November 27, 2020, 12:54 PM

by Roy Mabasa

The United States government, through the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), facilitated a series of virtual Chemical Security Regulatory Development workshops to develop fundamental international legislative and regulatory guidelines on chemical security in the Philippines.

Philippine agencies participate in series of virtual chemical security regulatory workshops facilitated by DTRA and PNNL. (US EMBASSY IN THE PHILIPPINES / MANILA BULLETIN)

More than seven Philippine government agencies that comprise the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) National Team were represented in the month-long series of workshops that culminated on November 19, 2020.

During the seminars, participants reviewed recent developments on CBRN security to assist in fundamental chemical security training in the Philippines.

Among those who participated in the workshops were Assistant Secretary for Public Safety and Security and Chair of the Philippines CBRN National Team Alexander Macario and Gen. Joseph Embang, chief of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).

“The CBRN National Team takes its steps, together with DTRA, in realizing our goals for a chemical security regime. This is a work in progress, but with this recently concluded workshop and recommendations received by Philippine government officials, a renewed commitment has been made to pursue and complete a national chemical security framework,” said Embang who also sits as vice-chairman of the CBRN National Team.

DTRA, PNNL, and Philippine partners were successful in creating a unified and comprehensive national framework for chemical security, this key goal underscored by the tragic port explosion in Beirut, Lebanon in August. Following the completion of these workshops, the Philippines CBRN National Team will work with stakeholders to ensure legislation continues to move through deliberative interagency processes.

Dr. Robert Pope, Director of DTRA’s Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, cited the importance of their longstanding partnership with the BFP and Filipino interagency partners, even as they look forward to continuing their efforts to facilitate the development of a regulatory regime for chemical security in the Philippines.

“We are proud to be a partner in the multi-year joint effort to align international chemical security leading practices with the Philippine regulatory framework,” Dr. Pope said.