NEW rules on controlled chemicals, including the police force’s decision to trim its list from 101 to 32 substances, balance the need for national security and industry development.

That’s what Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Adrian Cristobal Jr. said when he welcomed the signing of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) on controlled chemicals, according to a press statement.

Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Senen Sarmiento signed last June 9, 2016 the IRR on controlled chemicals, as recommended by Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ricardo Marquez. The IRR is set to be published on July 25, 2016 and will take effect 15 days after.

The IRR will complement Presidential Decree 1866, as amended by Republic Act 9516, which lists the chemicals to be controlled; streamlined procedures for the storage, handling, and transport of controlled chemicals; and the accreditation guidelines for logistics providers, including company-owned trucks and service vehicles.

The rules, Cristobal said, will ensure that regulations on chemicals, which can be used to create bombs, place the safety of all residents first.

“At the same time, the IRR also supports industry development, particularly in the area of ease of doing business,” the secretary said.

Among the features of the IRR are: reduction of the list of PNP controlled chemicals from 101 to 32 (15 high and 17 low risk); Streamlined procedures in filing applications for permits and licenses, reducing the days of approval from 20 to 10 for new applications; and waiver of police escort fees and accreditation of logistics providers.

The rules also provide for the “eventual automation of the processes through the development and application of information and communication technology.”

These bind the police to “follow clearly-defined procedures in the inspection of storage facilities.” (PR)