HomeNewsGreen group calls on candidates to include ‘sound waste management’ in platforms

Green group calls on candidates to include ‘sound waste management’ in platforms

BAN Toxics said health and environmental issues should be among the priorities of those running for office on May 9

Environmental watchdog BAN Toxics called on candidates in this year’s Philippine elections to include “sound chemical and waste management” in their platforms of government.

The group said environmental issues surrounding illegal waste importation, plastic and e-waste pollution, and proliferation of mercury-added products have long plagued the country.

“We have yet to see concrete platforms and action plans on health and environmental issues from most of the national electoral candidates,” said Reynaldo San Juan, executive director of BAN Toxics.

He said government officials and aspirants “should also prioritize addressing health and environmental issues among other things.”

The group said candidates should look into the long overdue ratification of the Basel Ban Amendment to prevent the Philippines from becoming a dumping ground of toxic and hazardous wastes.

The country has long been a victim of illegal waste trading, said the group, citing the Canada waste issue in 2013 being a prime example.

“The government should take a stronger stance against waste trading to prevent this from happening again,” read the group’s statement on the occasion of World Health Day on April 7.

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It said that the next set of government officials should prioritize the strict regulation and monitoring of mercury-added products that are being sold illegally on site and online.

“Unless the government develops and implements concrete action plans to address environmental issues, Filipinos will continue to be vulnerable to the adverse effects of pollution and toxics,” said San Juan.

“Our right to a healthy environment should not be overlooked,” he added, saying that the protection of the environment “will also protect the health of the Filipino people.”

While the Food and Drug Administration constantly flags mercury-added products, online monitoring and test buy operations show that it’s still widely available in the market.

Stricter measures to control products containing mercury should be implemented to protect Filipino consumers from the chemical’s harmful effects, said the group.

The group also pointed out the problem of plastic pollution in the country.

In 2015, the Philippines ranked third among the world’s greatest plastic waste producer, with 2.7 million tons of plastic waste produced each year.

Despite having one of the highest garbage collection rates among Southeast Asian countries, a 2018 study on waste management practices revealed that the Philippine faces difficulties in the proper disposal of garbage.

Founded in 2006, BAN Toxics is a non-profit, non-governmental organization whose mandate is to promote sound chemicals and wastes management. The organization was established to respond to urgent waste and chemicals issues besetting the Philippines.

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