The Philippines won two bronze medals in its maiden participation in the 2017 International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) held in Mahidol University Thailand from July 6 to 15, 2017.
The bronze medals were courtesy of Charles Jerome Bartolo and Arthur Reiner De Belen. The other Chemistry Olympians were Keren Duque and Israel Aguba. The team was coached by Xandra Junio while the head of delegation was Dr. Jose Andaya.
The Philippines was able to compete this year after two consecutive years as observer.
The four Olympians were chosen after rigorous eliminations via the regional eliminations and then the Philippine National Chemistry Olympiad. The top four became the official representatives of the Philippines to the IChO.
Prior to the IChO, the Olympians were trained at the Philippine Science High School main campus, Ateneo de Manila University, and De La Salle University.
All four students came from the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) — Bartolo from PSHS Central Luzon Campus, Duque from PSHS Cagayan Valley, while De Belen and Aguba are both from PSHS main campus.
The counrty’s participation in the IChO was made possible by the Kapisanang Kimika ng Pilipinas (KKP) and the Philippine Association of Chemistry Teachers (PACT) led by Dr. Nestor S. Valera, Dr. Eric Punzalan, Dr. Jose Andaya, and Jen Sy.
The Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies and its member organizations (KKP, PACT, and the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines ICP) provided financial support.
The travel was sponsored by Philippine Airlines through the Foundation for the Upgrading of Secondary Education (FUSE).