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Green group pushes for nationwide total firecracker ban

by admin   |   Posted on Thursday, December 6th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health is gearing up its annual anti-firecrackers’ campaign, “Oplan: Iwas Paputok, Fireworks Display Ang Patok,” which aims to reduce the number of firecracker-related injuries by steering the public away from its use and supporting community fireworks displays in celebrating the new year.

The campaign is in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order (EO) No. 28 which seeks to regulate and control the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices.

However, for environmental group EcoWaste Coalition, all kinds of firecrackers must be banned in the entire country.

“Bagama’t nakikibahagi tayo dito sa kampanya ng Department of Health ay mayroon pa ring talagang sariling posisyon yung EcoWaste at talagang yan ay ang pagpipigil o pagba-ban talaga ng paggamit kahit anong klaseng paputok,” said EcoWaste Coalition chemical safety campaigner, Anthony Dizon.

He added that legalizing firecrackers will not diminish the hazards it poses to the general public.

“Legal man yan o ilegal magdudulot pa rin yan ng pinsala lalong-lalo na sa kamay na mismo o kung hawak na yan ng mga bata,” said Dizon.

The group also distributed copies of a draft ordinance to all local government units in the 17 cities of Metro Manila to campaign for the total firecracker ban.

The group insists that just like in Davao City, which has long adopted the ban, it is also possible to implement the proposed ordinance in other parts of the country.

“Maghanap ng alternatibong panghanap buhay sa mga kababayan natin lalong-lalo na sa mga nagtitinda o nagpro- produce nito,” suggested Dizon.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Fire Protection has already recorded 19 firecracker related incidents nationwide. — Chato Alonsagay (with reports from Cathy Maglalang)

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Int’l groups laud reshipment of Canada trash: ‘A victory for the environment’

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, May 31st, 2019

The MV Bavaria leaving the Philippines to haul 69 container vans of mixed waste back to Canada (May 31, 2019)

MANILA, Philippines — Environmental groups lauded the historic return of Canada’s trash after six long years of abandonment in the Philippines.

EcoWaste Coalition, International Persistent Organic Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) and RightOnCanada in a joint statement described the effort as “a victory for the rule of law, morality and the environment.”

“We feel jubilant that 69 containers of Canadian rubbish are now homeward bound after being stranded here for so long,” Ecowaste National Coordinator Aileen Lucero said.

“The Philippines is not the world’s dumpsite. Never again shall we allow other countries to trash our dignity, our people’s health, and the environment,” she added.

Kathleen Ruff of RightOnCanada, meanwhile, commended Canada for finally realizing its responsibility under the Basel Convention.

“The Canadian government is now finally going to comply with the Basel Convention and take responsibility for its own wastes. This is what environmental responsibility means.”

Meanwhile, Joe DiGangi of IPEN said Canada should have not waited for six years before it finally decided to take back its trash.

“Canada should have complied with the Basel Convention and repatriated its illegal garbage exports years ago,” DiGangi said.

“It should not take a presidential threat to get Canada or any other country to comply with the Basel Convention. Going forward, both Canada and the Philippines need to learn from this frustrating experience, so that it is never repeated,” he added in the statement.

The groups noted that to prevent the recurrence of garbage dumping, there should be a new set of rules that nations should uphold thus they suggest the ratification of the Basel Ban Amendment “which prohibits the export of hazardous wastes and other wastes from developed to developing countries for any reason, including recycling.”

“This ordeal has taught us of the urgency of correcting outmoded regulations allowing waste imports into the country under the guise of recycling,” Lucero concluded.  

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LIST: School supplies containing lead, cadmium

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

Courtesy: EcoWaste Coalition

EcoWaste Coalition has listed several school supplies containing cadmium and lead which are harmful to students.

The environment group alerted consumers against purchasing school supplies laced with hazardous substances such as cadmium and lead.

“While many school supplies are generally harmless, there are some items that contain undisclosed chemicals that are banned or restricted in children’s toys because of their harmful effects on children’s health and the environment, too,” stated Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) lead and cadmium are included in the list of “10 chemicals of major public health concern.”

Among the samples found to contain high concentrations of lead were:

  1. An Artex Fine Water Colors (bright yellow cake), 86,000 ppm
  2. A yellow painted metal water container with Minions design, 65,500 ppm
  3. A red coated hair clip, 42,600 ppm
  4. A yellow painted metal water container with Rabbit design, 39,300 ppm
  5. A yellow coated hair clip, 15,800 ppm
  6. A backpack with Ultraman design, 12,100 ppm
  7. An MPC Classique Water Colors (light yellow cake), 4,914 ppm
  8. A bag tag with a Doraemon design, 3,659 ppm
  9. A yellow Fairyland crayon, 3,191 ppm
  10. A bag tag with Superman design, 2,361 ppm
  11. A backpack with Ben 10 design, 1,908
  12. A backpack with Hello Kitty design, 1,879 ppm

“Parents should be on the lookout for these items that may contain hazardous chemicals such as cadmium, lead, and phthalates,” Dizon said.

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EcoWaste slams botched plastic waste shipment from Hong Kong

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, May 24th, 2019

Courtesy : Ecowaste Coalition Facebook page

EcoWaste Coalition slammed the mixed plastic waste shipment found at the Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental from Hong Kong.

During the inspection of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Region 10
led by port collector John Simon on Wednesday (May 22), they found a 40- footer container van. It contained 22 sling bags weighing 25,610 kilograms of mixed plastic waste instead of the declared “assorted electronic accessories.”

“We denounce this latest attempt to bring into the country over 25 tons of mixed plastic waste from Hong Kong amid our nation’s ongoing efforts to send back similar illegal waste shipments from Canada and South Korea,” according to Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

Reports say the shipment arrived in the country last January 2, 2019.
The cargo was shipped by Hin Yuen Tech. Env. Limited and was consigned to Crowd Win Industrial Limited.

The BOC Region 10 already issued an alert order and a warrant of seizure and detention on February 19 and March 7, 2019 in violation of Section 1400 (misdeclaration) in relation to Section 117 (lack of permit) of Republic Act 10863, or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

EcoWaste also reported that the BOC Region 10 will also initiate an action to re-export of the illegal shipment back to Hong Kong.

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