30 November 2010

Plastic Trash Stays as Top Polluter of Manila Bay – Waste Audit Reveals

(Greenpeace SEA Photo)
Manila, Philippines. Results of a waste audit in Manila Bay led by an international coalition of citizens’ groups calling to “Stop Trashing the Climate” reveals that plastic discards continue to pollute our world-famous sunset destination.

As part of the 9th Global Day of Action against Waste and Incineration, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives [GAIA], Greenpeace, EcoWaste Coalition, and 11 other civil society organizations conducted a follow up to their 2006 waste audit of the heavily-polluted Manila Bay. Boats and crew from the Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior, also participated in the event.

Participants were divided into land and water teams. Land team collected litter along the shore of Manila Bay stretching from the Manila Yacht Club to the US Embassy, while the water team rode boats and collected flotsam offshore from the Yacht Club to Baseco Compound.

728 liters of waste was collected and segregated into 12 classifications, namely, plastic bags, composites, polystyrene, hard plastics, plastic bottles, hazardous wastes, rubber, metal, glass, biodegradables, nappies, and other discards.

Of the 728 liters of collected debris, 75.55% was composed of plastic discards, mostly plastic bags and polystyrene products. Biodegradables made up far second at 10.99%; glass, 5.77%; metals, 2.2%; hazardous waste, 1.38%; and rubber, .55%.

GAIA pointed out that in their 2006 waste audit results, plastic discards also ranked number one at 76% among the various categories of solid waste polluting the celebrated Manila Bay.

“Considering the outgoing current, we still collected quite a volume of trash and it is unfortunate that plastic items led by plastic bags and styro products remain to be the prime visible pollutants of Manila Bay. Our findings today reinforced what all of us already know: plastics is a problem and our penchant for patronizing disposable products magnifies this problem,” disclosed Gigie Cruz of GAIA. “Fortunately, there are now bills in Congress which propose to phase
out, ban and tax plastic bags, and they have our full support,” she stated.

GAIA called HB No. 127 authored by Rep. Al Francis Bichara, HB No. 651 by Rep. Sonny Angara, and HB No. 2109 by Reps. Rufus Rodriguez and Maximo Rodriguez, Jr. which are respectively imposing plastic bag levy, mandating the use of recyclable or biodegradable materials for the packaging of consumer products; and banning the use of plastic bags in groceries, restaurants and other establishments as “important
laws which time has come”.

“We can only do so much cleaning visible trash, but toxic discharges which are actually more harmful remain invisible. In line with Zero Waste principles, Greenpeace is calling for a mandatory pollution disclosure system that will be the first step to eliminate these hidden toxics in our waters,” expressed Beau Baconguis, Toxics Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

Lending their experience in identifying wastes, members of Samahan ng Muling Pagkabuhay Multi-Purpose Cooperative, an organization of wastepickers [also called informal recyclers] in Smoky Mountain, also helped in the audit.

The waste audit was also conducted as part of the 10th anniversary of both GAIA and Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

GAIA was founded ten years ago in South Africa to mobilize grassroots action against incinerators and other dirty waste technologies and advance sustainable and just solutions such as Zero Waste and Clean Production.

The regional Greenpeace office, on the other hand, was established in 2000 following the visit of the Rainbow Warrior for the “Toxics Free Asia Tour” in the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand.

-END–

Note to Editor:

Complete list of the results:

Classification, Percentage

*Plastic Bags, 27.75
*Composite, 10.3
*Polystyrene/Styro, 20.74
*Hard Plastics, 10.05
*Plastic Bottles, 1.65
Rubber, .55
Metal, 2.2
Glass, 5.77
Hazardous Waste, 1.38
Biodegradable, 10.99
*Disposable Diapers, 2.06
*Others, 3.57

*Plastic products

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 329, Eagle Court Condominium, Matalino St.
Quezon City, Philippines
+63 2 441-1846
ecowastecoalition@yahoo.com

Children’s health and safety advocates urge PH to follow EU ban on toxic chemical in feeding bottles

Quezon City. The Save Babies Coalition and the EcoWaste Coalition today urged the authorities to take its cue from the European Union (EU) in banning a health-damaging chemical known as bisphenol A or BPA in plastic baby bottles.

The two citizens’ coalitions specifically asked President Benigno S. Aquino III and Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona to issue an executive ban against BPA as “early Christmas gift” to Filipino babies and children.

The European Commission announced last week a regional ban on polycarbonate plastic infant bottles containing BPA, an industrial chemical, effective March 2011 in EU’s 27 member countries.

“We applaud EU’s region-wide ban on BPA-laced baby bottles and call upon the Aquino government to do the same in the greater interest of safeguarding our kids’ health,” said Aileen Lucero of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project PROTECT (People Responding and Organizing against Toxic Chemical Threats).

“May the ban on BPA be P-Noy’s and Sec. Ona’s early Christmas gift to our babies and children, our future, who are most susceptible to toxic harm,” said Ines Fernandez of the Save Babies Coalition, who likewise reminded mothers to exclusively breastfeed for six months and keep on breastfeeding for two years and beyond for health benefits, including higher IQ and emotional security.

BPA, a chemical used in polycarbonate baby bottles and in epoxy resins for canned foods and beverages, has been linked to reproductive and developmental problems, including disrupting the body’s hormonal system.

Researchers had confirmed that BPA migrates from plastic containers such as feeding bottles into their contents, contaminat.

Aside from the EU, Canada and some US states like Connecticut and Minnesota had introduced policies banning BPA for public health and safety, especially for food and drink containers for children below three years.

In line with the precautionary principle, the EcoWaste Coalition and Save Babies Coalition also urged the government to consider imposing a total ban on BPA in all food packaging.

“Some companies have already switched to non-BPA linings for their products, so it's possible to get BPA out of food packaging,” the groups said.

The EU-based Health and Environmental Alliance (HEAL) had earlier said that the ban should be for “all food packaging for infants under 3 years old - and it should quickly be extended to all food packaging because, if babies during pregnancy are to be protected, consumption by women of child-bearing age should be avoided."

While the ban on BPA is not yet in place, the groups advised consumers to take precaution to reduce exposure to BPA, including avoiding polycarbonate plastic containers, usually marked “PC” or the number “7” and opting for safer alternatives such as glass, ceramics or stainless steel.

-end-

28 November 2010

PH Green Groups Join Global Campaign to “Stop Trashing the Climate” and for “Zero Waste”, Conduct Waste Audit in Manila Bay

Manila, Philippines. An international coalition of citizens’ groups conducting waste audit in Manila Bay today called to “Stop Trashing the Climate” as part of their 9th Global Day of Action against Waste and Incineration.

The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), comprising of over 650 members from 92 countries, urged people, industries, and governments to formally commit to “Zero Waste” policies. That means designing waste out of the system with prevention, reduction, reuse, recycling and composting, instead of resorting to dirty and unsustainable technologies like incineration and landfilling. GAIA cited toxic pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and high costs of incineration among the reasons for shifting to Zero Waste approaches.

Joining GAIA and Greenpeace in collecting discard samples on and in offshore areas of Manila Bay are its partners EcoWaste Coalition, Ban Toxics, Buklod Tao, Ecology Ministry of the Diocese of Caloocan, Earth UST, Health Care Without Harm, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, Mother Earth Foundation, Sagip Pasig Movement, Samahan ng Muling Pagkabuhay Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Sining Yapak, and Zero Waste Philippines.

“Manila Bay is only one of the innumerable examples where our dependence on disposable stuff such as plastic bags is choking the life out of our living environment and we’re already experiencing its effects, so we have to start rethinking our throw-away lifestyles,” said Gigie Cruz of GAIA.

“We hope that the people, industries, and government will heed our call to “Stop Trashing the Climate,” support “Zero Waste for Zero Warming,” direct mitigation funds in the waste sector toward recycling and resource recovery projects, and support global efforts in making landfills and incinerators obsolete,” added Cruz.

“Manila Bay and its estuaries have for a long time been symbolic of all the trash we throw in our waters. Thankfully, there have been improvements due to much-needed enactment of environmental laws. But more needs to be done: we can clean visible trash, but toxic discharges which are actually more harmful remain invisible. In line with Zero Waste principles, Greenpeace is calling for a mandatory pollution disclosure system that will be the first step to eliminate these hidden toxics in our waters,” said Beau Baconguis, Toxics Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

The waste audit was also conducted as part of the 10th anniversary of both GAIA and Greenpeace Southeast Asia (GPSEA), with the participation of boats and crew from the Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior, which is in Manila as part of its “Turn the Tide” tour of the region to highlight solutions to the threat of climate change.

GAIA was founded in South Africa in 2000 to mobilize grassroots action against incinerators and other dirty waste technologies and advance sustainable and just solutions such as Zero Waste and Clean Production.

The regional Greenpeace office, on the other hand, was established ten years ago following the visit of the Rainbow Warrior for the “Toxics Free Asia Tour” in the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand.

In 2006, Greenpeace, GAIA, EcoWaste, and other groups also conducted a waste audit in Manila Bay where 1000 liters of waste were collected. Results revealed that plastic bags composed 51.4% of the discards recovered. Along with other plastic products like composites and polystyrene, they made up 76.9% of the total waste, while biodegradables comprised 12.9%. Rubber completed the remaining 10.2%.

“Ten years of working together across continents has made it clear that Zero Waste is a much better alternative for the climate, the environment, our health and our economies,” Cruz added. “Zero Waste has significant climate benefits since it conserves resources, saves energy, and cuts greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, it creates many jobs and strengthens economies.”

GAIA also expressed support to the developments in the House of Representatives Committee on Ecology, particularly HB No. 651 authored by Rep. Sonny Angara, and HB No. 2109 co-authored by Reps. Rufus Rodriguez and Maximo Rodriguez, Jr. which are respectively mandating the use of recyclable or biodegradable materials for the packaging of consumer products; and banning the use of plastic bags in groceries, restaurants and other establishments.

“These timely bills reinforce the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and provide crucial steps toward Zero Waste,” Cruz points out. “It is our hope that they get enacted as laws soon,” she emphasized.

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 329, Eagle Court Condominium, Matalino St.
Quezon City, Philippines
+63 2 441-1846
ecowastecoalition@yahoo.com

25 November 2010

Group Backs Stringent BOC inspection of Christmas holiday imports

Quezon City. A non-government environmental organization backed a recent action by the customs authorities to foil probable smuggling of toxic and hazardous goods into the country as Christmas comes closer.

The EcoWaste Coalition welcomed the move by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) at the Manila International Container Port and Port of Manila to defer the release of 15 container vans loaded with imported plastic toys, firecrackers and other goods from China and Hong Kong until after rigorous examination.
Reports quoted Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez as saying “we have to keep a more vigilant watch and conduct thorough inspection of all vans to ensure the safety of the consuming public during the holidays,” while Customs Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Group Filomeno Vicencio, Jr. described their action “as part of the risk management measures of the Bureau.”

“We support the more careful inspection of these Christmas shipments to ensure that dangerous goods such as toxic toys, substandard lights and perilous firecrackers are not put up for sale in the local market,” said Roy Alvarez, President of the EcoWaste Coalition.

“The stringent scrutiny by our customs officers is needed to thwart any attempts by crooked traders to make profits from the sale of dangerous products that could jeopardize public health and safety,” he added.

To safeguard the health of toy-loving children, the EcoWaste Coalition urged the BOC to publish the brand names, photos and other product specifications and the test results of toys that the Bureau had rejected due to high levels of lead and other harmful chemicals.

The BOC supposedly examines toy shipments, obtaining samples of products from the lot and sending the samples to an independent private laboratory for analysis. Toys that failed the tests are issued warrant of seizure and detention.

“We urge the BOC to make these toxic toys known to the consumers through the BOC website and the popular media in order to inform and protect the public, especially the children,” stated Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project PROTECT (People Responding and Organizing against Toxic Chemical Threats)

Toys containing lead and lead-based paint, Dizon pointed out, are dangerous because they expose children to this brain-damaging chemical through their common hand-to-mouth activity. Health experts believe there is no defined safe level for lead as they can be toxic to children even at low levels.

With respect to firecrackers, the EcoWaste Coalition sought the help of BOC in strictly enforcing Section 6 of Republic Act 7183, which prohibits the importation of finished firecrackers and fireworks.

Additionally, the EcoWaste Coalition urged the BOC to strictly examine food imports such as typical holiday fruits and delicacies, ensuring they do not contain hazardous levels of pesticide residues and other contaminants.

-end-


References:

News story about the 15 container vans placed under Customs alert:

http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=0&nid=1&rid=314990

Lead in toys: http://www.healthystuff.org/departments/toys/chemicals.lead.php

Republic Act No. 7183: http://www.bcphilippineslawyers.com/republic-act-no-7183/

23 November 2010

EcoWaste Coalition Bats for “Barangay Simple” to Reduce “Holitrash”


23 November 2010, Quezon City. The country’s new batch of barangay and youth officials can instigate a range of creative initiatives to slash the anticipated Christmas “holitrash,” an environmental network pointed out.“Holitrash” is a word coined by the EcoWaste Coalition, an advocate for sustainable lifestyle changes, to illustrate the enormous trash associated with the widely held observance of Christmas in the country.


In a bid to motivate the newly-installed Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials to think and act “green” this Christmas season, the EcoWaste Coalition has put together a list called “Barangay Simple” for a less wasteful celebration of the nation’s grandest fiesta.

Christmas ala-“Barangay Simple” means promoting and actually applying the basic 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) to lessen the impact of the holiday consumption and merriment on the environment, the group said.

“Adopting a ‘Barangay Simple’ celebration will trim down the volume of earth’s resources that we use and throw away, while inculcating the profound simplicity of the birth of the Redeemer, the reason for the season, in our communities,” said Roy Alvarez, President, EcoWaste Coalition.

“As elected role models, we urge our Barangay and SK officials to espouse and lead the much needed ecological reforms in the community life, starting with the need to simplify Christmas,” he said.

Among those who contributed to the list were Rene Pineda of the Citizens Concerned with Advocating Philippine Environmental Sustainability, Manny Calonzo of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Beau Baconguis of Greenpeace, Eileen Sison of the Institute for the Development of Education and Ecological Alternatives, Neneng Jocson of the Krusada sa Kalikasan, Cathy Untalan of the Miss Earth Foundation and Sonia Mendoza of Mother Earth Foundation.

Here are some tips to become a “Barangay Simple” or darn close this yuletide season and beyond:

I. REDUCE:

Refrain from putting up banderitas, especially buntings made from new plastic bags. Please don’t create a dumpsite in the sky!

Abstain from installing too many Christmas lights in the Barangay Hall and on the adjacent streets. You need not compete with the lights and glitters of the Araneta and Ayala Commercial Centers.

Give up “Merry Christmas” tarpaulins - it’s too “plastic” - and help lessen unwanted mess on the streets.

Avoid putting Christmas “noche buena” gifts for needy families in plastic bags. Place them in bayong or reusable bags instead.

Desist from organizing “disposable” Christmas parties. Stick to a Zero Waste theme, abandoning the use of convenient but throw-away plates, cups and utensils in favor of washable and reusable party wares. SK can adopt schools and orient them to have waste-free get-togethers.

Reduce fat, salt and sugar by serving nutritious “lutong bahay” in the barangay “pamaskong salu-salo,” avoiding junk food altogether.

Give raffle prizes that will inspire others to cut their trash and improve the quality of community environment such as reusable carry bags, vermi worms for composting, vegetable seeds for home gardening, bamboo shoots for riverbank remediation and other living gifts.

Set up trash cans (with proper segregation) around Churches during the nine-day “Simbang Gabi” (dawn Masses).

Organize local “Iwas PapuToxic” campaign to reduce firecracker-related injuries as well as toxic litter, smoke and noise.

II. REUSE:

Refrain from buying new Christmas decorations. Check the Barangay storeroom for ornaments that can still be repaired and reused.

Create the Barangay or Church belen (Christmas crib) with reused items.

Decorate only with minimal stuff that can be reused over and over again.

Organize a Barangay Ukay-Ukay (reusable/recyclable bazaar) from household, school and corporate donated items to raise funds for families in need.

III. RECYCLE:

Organize community- wide Christmas exchange gift of unwrapped “white elephant” or recycled gift items for kids and teeners.

Arrange a “Junk Exchange” where residents can bring and swap useful items such as outgrown clothes for children and adults from the closets.

Set up donation boxes at the Barangay Hall, places of worship and stores for used toys, books and clothes that can be distributed to the poor. The signage for the campaign can say something like “Give Mother Earth a Christmas gift, too, recycle!

Organize recycled toy-making contest.

Partner with homeowners’ associations and the informal waste sector to collect clean recyclables during and after the Christmas season.

EcoWaste CoalitionUnit 329, Eagle Court Condominium, Matalino St.Quezon City, Philippines+63 2 441-1846ecowastecoalition@yahoo.com

18 November 2010

Greens Press for Environmental Protection in Government's Tourism Drive (or "Pilipinas Kay Ganda" may become "Pilipinas Kay Pangit")


A waste and pollution watchdog has joined the chorus of disapproving voices carping on the country’s new tourism tagline: “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” (Philippines So Beautiful).

In a statement, the EcoWaste Coalition objected to the lack of attention given on protecting the environment, particularly from trash, as the Department of Tourism (DOT) unveiled last Monday its new catchphrase to lure tourists and double arrivals in the coming years.

“Our tourism authorities seem to have not noticed the ubiquitous litter making our country unappealing for visitors searching for exceptional places to see, relax and enjoy,” said Roy Alvarez, President of the EcoWaste Coalition.

“Our continuing failure to rid our streets, our markets, our festivals and tourist destinations, including our famed beaches, of trash will surely not attract, but keep potential visitors at bay,” he noted.

“For sure, these unsightly sites will not leave positive memories in the hearts and minds of our guests,” he said.

“Pilipinas Kay Ganda,” Alvarez quipped, might turn into "Pilipinas Kay Pangit" (Philippines So Ugly), “Pilipinas Kay Kalat” (Philippines So Messy) or “Pilipinas Kay Dumi’ (Philippines So Dirty) if the garbage issue is not adequately addressed.

“To emphasize our government’s commitment to waste prevention and reduction, DOT’s campaign logo should also incorporate the ‘chasing arrows,’ the universal symbol for recycling,” he suggested.

Last August, the EcoWaste Coalition wrote to Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim with a request to implement DOT Memorandum Circular No. 2005-04 declaring 'Zero Tourism Waste as a goal and direction for sustainable tourism and development."

The group also urged Secretary Lim to adopt “litter-free Pilipinas” as a flagship campaign of the DOT for the entire term of the Aquino presidency.

“Protecting our tourist attractions and destinations from waste and other forms of environmental abuse and neglect is key to any tourism development strategy that will bolster our competitive edge over our Asian neighbors,” the EcoWaste Coalition said.

DOT MC 2005-04 states that "tourism establishments and facilities generate significant volume of waste that can be considerably reduced to zero if a policy on waste prevention, reduction, separation at source, recycling and composting is put in place and genuinely carried out."

Among others, the MC seeks the greening of tourists events and destinations and the implementation of ecological waste management in hotels and other tourism-related establishments.

The said policy was adopted following a seminar in November 2004 on "Zero Tourism Waste" at the DOT that was co-organized by the EcoWaste Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives and the Philippine Tourism Authority.

-end-

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 329, Eagle Court Condominium, Matalino St.
Quezon City, Philippines
+63 2 441-1846
ecowastecoalition@yahoo.com

17 November 2010

EcoWaste Coalition urges soon to be installed Barangay and SK officials to lead drive to ecological renewal via Zero Waste

After asking candidates to clean up their campaign mess, environmental advocates now advised soon to be instated Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) leaders to make Zero Waste a cornerstone of the grassroots reform agenda.

The new batch of Barangay and SK leaders of the country’s 42,025 barangays will assume their three-year term of office by noon of November 30.

“Environmentally-conscious Barangay and SK leaders offer a beacon of hope to our ailing Mother Earth,” said Eileen Sison , NGO Representative to the National Solid Waste Management Commission.

“They can spur a truly grassroots movement for ecological renewal involving the local households, institutions and enterprises, including the informal sector,” stated Sison.

“Trash and litter, the most obvious evidence of community negligence and decay, should be a top priority for our soon to be installed leaders,” Sison suggested, stressing that a people-backed Zero Waste program is urgently needed to deal with the pervasive garbage threat that is also affecting the climate.

A successful barangay-centered program on Zero Waste, according to the EcoWaste Coalition, will rely hugely on a dedicated team who will initiate, organize and monitor creative citizens' education and mobilization for sustained waste prevention, reduction, segregation at source, recycling and composting efforts, including resource recovery involving the informal recyclers.

As directed by Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, each barangay should constitute a Barangay Solid Waste Management (SWM) Board whose functions include the formulation of SWM plan and the establishment of materials recovery facility to replace polluting dumps.

“To start with, the new Barangay SWM should initiate honest-to-goodness review of how RA 9003 is currently enforced in the community, not to find faults, but to determine specific remedies or components for improvement,” stated Roy Alvarez, President of the EcoWaste Coalition.

Headed by the Barangay Chair, the Barangay SWM Board also includes one Barangay Kagawad, the SK Chair and the presidents, principals or representatives of the public/private schools, Parents and Teachers Associations, Home Owners Associations, Market Vendors Associations, Junkshop Owners Associations and transportation, environmental and religious groups operating in the community.

As regards the SK, the EcoWaste Coalition dared the youth leaders to really make a difference this time and carry out concrete activities that will empower and benefit the youth and the community.

“We know that not a few influential people have sought the abolition of the SK claiming that the youth councils have become a breeding ground for corruption at young age,” noted Alvarez.

“Our SK leaders can prove their critiques wrong by embarking on enduring activities, not ningas cogon (grassfire) and publicity stunts, that will enhance youth involvement in environmental and other community concerns,” he added.

“Being a member of the Barangay SWM, the SK Chair can be a driving force in raising environmental awareness and responsibility among children and youth, particularly in cutting their waste size,”Alvarez pointed out

-end-

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 329, Eagle Court Condominium, Matalino St.
Quezon City, Philippines
+6324411846
ecowastecoalition@yahoo.com

16 November 2010

Tobacco Industry Drive vs Cigarette Butts Gets Thumbs Down from Health and Environmental Coalitions


Two major citizens’ coalitions dismissed an industry-led drive against cigarette butt littering as “below the line advertising gimmick” that offers false solution to the toxic byproduct of smoking.

The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance, Philippines (FCAP) and the EcoWaste Coalition slam the move by the tobacco industry to distribute cigarette butt receptacles as a form of deceptive advertising disguised as community service or corporate social responsibility action.

The Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp., Inc. (PMFTC), maker of Philip Morris and Marlboro, launched last Friday a campaign that will provide cigarette butt receptacles to local government units (LGUs) “to proactively address the issues caused by cigarette butt litter.”

“It is sheer hypocrisy on their part to tackle cigarette butt littering, but continue manufacturing tobacco products that have been causing diseases and deaths to millions of Filipinos,” said Dr. Maricar Limpin, Executive Director of FCAP, adding that "this campaign is akin to providing receptacles to used suicide implements" as she cautioned LGUs not to fall into the advertising trap.

“The provision of cigarette butt receptacles offers a very superficial and disproportionate approach to the severe health and environmental impacts of tobacco addiction. It misleadingly promotes the notion that it is perfectly alright for the people to smoke as long as they properly throw the butts," said Dr. Leah Primitiva Samaco-Paquiz, Secretary of the EcoWaste Coalition.

The PMFTC campaign will sow confusion on the government’s implementation of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) that seeks to protect the people from second-hand smoke and help smokers get rid of smoking addiction, the groups insisted.

Distributing cigarette butt receptacles will confound the purpose of LGUs who have agreed to declare their cities and municipalities smoke-free, they stated.

“The government agencies and LGUs that will participate in this gimmick of the PMFTC need to be forewarned that they will be inviting violation of the Joint Memorandum Circular 2010-01 of the Department of Health and the Civil Service Commission,” Dr. Limpin emphasized.

The Joint MC 2010-01 seeks to protect the bureaucracy from tobacco industry interference, in accordance with the FCTC Article 5.3.

As defined in the said Joint MC, “tobacco industry interference refers to the broad array of tactics and strategies used by the tobacco industry to interfere with the setting and implementing of tobacco control measures.”

The Joint MC prohibits public officials and employees from soliciting or accepting, directly or indirectly, any gifts, donations and sponsorships from the tobacco industry.

-end-

To read the Joint DOH-CSC MC 2010-01, please visit:

http://www.slideshare.net/healthjustice/csc-doh-jmc-201001

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 329, Eagle Court Condominium, Matalino St.
Quezon City, Philippines
+63 2 441-1846
ecowastecoalition@yahoo.com

15 November 2010

Group supports DOH’s Early Campaign vs Firecrackers for Public Health and Safety

Quezon City. A waste and pollution watchdog has thrown its support behind the early campaign of the Department of Health (DOH) to deter the public from blasting firecrackers to welcome the New Year.

In a letter faxed to Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona, the EcoWaste Coalition backed the DOH’s goal of curbing firecracker-linked injuries “by strictly enforcing the ban on the sale, manufacture, purchase, and use of all firecrackers/fireworks.”

“We are keen to collaborate with the DOH in achieving our shared purpose of minimizing, if not eliminating, the risks and hazards posed by firecrackers to life, limb and property, and to the ecosystems as a whole,” wrote Roy Alvarez, President, EcoWaste Coalition.

The environmental network has been conducting its “Iwas PapuToxic” drive since 2006, complementing the DOH’s initiative with creative school- and church-based activities.

Through their letter, the EcoWaste Coalition drew Sec. Ona’s attention to some ideas on how to broaden and strengthen the campaign for a safe and healthy welcome to 2011, including.

1.Giving an environmental slant to the campaign, incorporating the need to shun firecrackers in order to reduce harmful smoke, litter and noise that can aggravate and endanger the health of humans and animals, too.

2. Issuing a health advisory on noise pollution from the blasting of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.

3. Seeking the strict enforcement of the ban on imported firecrackers and fireworks under Section 6 of Republic Act 7183 ("An Act Regulating the Sale, Manufacture, Distribution and Use of Firecracker and Other Pyrotechnic Devices"), which categorically says that: “The importation of finished firecrackers and fireworks shall be prohibited.”

4. Publishing an updated “black list” of banned firecrackers to include the atomic big triangulo and super lolo (as per RA 7183), piccolo, kwitis, luces, five star, pla-pla (the top five injury-causing firecrackers in 2009 according to the DOH), watusi (a poison commonly ingested by children), PVC bazooka, cannons or guns (as ordered by the Philippine National Police) and other firecrackers that the authorities had previously banned.

5. Promoting the declaration of church, school, hospital, zoo and public market areas as “silence zone” where the explosion of firecrackers will be strictly forbidden.

The EcoWaste Coalition also urged the DOH to highlight the success of Davao City and other local government units in reducing firecracker injuries and deaths as well as environmental pollution by enforcing a ban in their areas of jurisdiction.

For an expanded campaign, the group urged the DOH to mobilize participants from the public and private sectors, including the civil society, for a multi-stakeholders’ drive against firecrackers.

In addition, the EcoWaste Coalition proposed an intensified public information campaign involving movie and entertainment personalities, citing the power of celebrities in shaping public opinion.

The EcoWaste Coalition’s “Iwas-PapuToxic” events held every December before the Christmas break had attracted thousands of young students from Krus na Ligas Elementary School, QC (2006), Esteban Abada Elementary School, QC (2007), Claret School (2008) and the Marcelo H. del Pilar Elementary School, QC (2009).

The group has also partnered with the Miss Earth Foundation, Ministry of Ecology of the Our Lady of Remedies Parish in Malate and with animal rights groups such as the Philippine Animal Welfare Society in organizing creative events to sway the public to drop firecrackers in favor of safe and emission-free noise makers.

-end-

11 November 2010

PH Paint Samples Tested Positive for High Lead Contents




Laboratory tests conducted on some household enamel paints sold in the local market reveal high levels of lead, a heavy metal that is toxic to the brain and other organs and systems.

Known by its symbol Pb and atomic number 82, lead has been linked to widespread environmental pollution, human exposure and health problems affecting not only the nervous system, but also the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, hematologic and renal systems.

In a press statement, the EcoWaste Coalition, a group promoting chemical safety, disclosed that 24 of the 35 paint samples (69%) that the group bought in local hardware shops and sent to the University of Cincinnati (UC) in Ohio, USA for testing exceeded the US lead in paint standard of 90 parts per million (ppm). More than one-half of the samples had lead levels greater than 100 times the US standard.

This is the second time that the EcoWaste Coalition had paint samples analyzed for lead. In 2009, 40% of the 25 Philippine paint samples that were tested in a government accredited laboratory in New Delhi, India recorded lead concentrations higher than 90 ppm.

Although the average lead concentration was similar in both testings (over 300 times the US standard), new information was revealed in the findings being reported at this time.

Two brands that were tested were not in the earlier testing and three of five samples of one brand (Manor) and all five samples of another brand (Triton) had high levels of lead. Three brands whose paints were low in lead in the earlier testing were found to have high levels in samples of different colors analyzed in the current testing: one green paint sample from Boysen, one yellow paint from Challenger and four (blue, green, red, yellow) from Sphero. The yellow paint from Sphero contained a whopping 161,700 ppm, the highest found in the current testing.

Most of the enamel paints from Coat Saver, Nation and Welcoat had high concentrations of lead as they did in the earlier study. Only the paint from one company, Popular, was found to have a low concentration of lead; however, since only a single white sample was analyzed in each testing, the lead concentration of other colors is not known.

“The high concentrations of lead in our paints underscore the need for a national regulation that will curb the presence of this toxic substance in paints to make them safe for children who are most vulnerable to lead poisoning,” said Manny Calonzo of the EcoWaste Coalition.

“The fact that more than one-third of the paints tested (12 out of 35)meet the current US standard (including a yellow paint, a color that is often high in lead) is evidence that substitutes for lead in paint do exist in the Philippines and that it is technologically and economically feasible to manufacture high-quality paints sans lead additives”, said Prof. Scott Clark of the Univesity of Cincinnati.

Prof. Clark, who visited the Philippines in December 2009, co-chairs the legislation and regulation focal area of the WHO/UNEP Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead in Paints and advises the EcoWaste Coalition on its advocacy to do away with lead in paints for children’s health.

As part of its chemical safety agenda, the EcoWaste Coalition will conduct further laboratory analysis of household paints in the hope of raising consumer awareness as well as instigating regulatory action to eradicate lead in paints.

“With the technical and scientific support we are getting from Prof. Clark and the environmental and health researchers in UC, we hope to continue monitoring the local paint industry’s efforts to phase out and eliminate leaded paints for the sake of the Filipino children,” Calonzo said.

According to the WHO Healthy Environments for Children Alliance, “there is no known safe blood lead level but it is known that, as lead exposure increases, the range and severity of symptoms and effects also increases.”

Lead exposure in childhood, mainly through the ingestion of lead-containing dust from crumbling paint, has been linked with reading and learning disabilities, lower vocabulary and grammatical-reasoning scores, reduced IQ and attention span, increased absenteeism, poorer eye-to-hand coordination, and lower class standing in school.

Young children are most vulnerable to ingesting lead dust because they place hands and other objects like toys in their mouths, causing lead to be absorbed into their growing bodies and interfering with the development of the brain and other organs and systems.

Pregnant women and women of child-bearing age are also at risk because lead can be passed from a pregnant mother to her unborn child when lead crosses the placenta and thus affecting the fetus.

-end-

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 329, Eagle Court Condominium, Matalino St.
Quezon City, Philippines
+63 2 441-1846
ecowastecoalition@yahoo.com

10 November 2010

EcoWaste Coalition's AlerToxic Patrol Targets Dealers of Banned Silver Jewelry Cleaners in Quiapo




The EcoWaste Coalition, a toxic watchdog, went store-hopping this morning near the iconic Quiapo Church to urge vendors to desist from selling prohibited silver jewelry cleaners containing cyanide and other harmful substances.

The group’s AlerToxic Patrol called on silver jewelry shops along Carriedo St. to ask them to abide by a recent government directive banning the sale of cyanide-laced silver cleaning agents as well as those that are not properly registered and labeled.

The government through the Department of Health and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources ordered the said ban due to the rising poisoning cases involving the unintentional and intentional intake of silver cleaners.

The AlerToxic Patrol volunteers provided shop owners and attendants with copies of the Joint DOH-DENR Advisory signed by Secretaries Enrique Ona and Ramon Paje and gave them copies of the EcoWaste Coalition’s “Save Lives” posters.

“We have come here today to ensure that silver cleaner dealers are duly informed about the ban and the punitive action awaiting them if they chose to ignore it,” said Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project PROTECT (People Responding and Organizing against Toxic Chemical Threats).

“With the cooperation of the vendors, we can put an end to cyanide poisoning by tightening the supply chain and eliminating toxic silver cleaners altogether,” he said.

“Let us purge the market of toxic silver cleaners for the safety our consumers,” Dizon pleaded.

Such a move, the EcoWaste Coalition said, will advance the goal of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), a global policy and strategy adopted in 2006 by governments, including the Philippines, to protect human health and the ecosystems from the harms caused by exposure to toxic chemical substances.

The Joint DOH-DENR Advisory branded silver cleaners as “threat to health and safety.”

“Laboratory analysis of samples of silver cleaners show elevated levels of cyanide clearly posing imminent danger or even death to humans, particularly when accidentally or deliberately ingested,” the Joint Advisory said.

“All commercial establishments such as jewelry shops and other retail outlets and ambulant vendors are strongly warned against selling and/or dispensing unregistered and unlabeled silver cleaners,” the Joint Advisory said.

Violators will be penalized in accordance with DOH Administrative Order 312 on “Household Hazardous Substances” and DENR Administrative Order 97-39 on the “Chemical Control Order for Cyanide and Cyanide Compounds.”

The Joint Advisory also enjoined the public to call the Food and Drug Administration at telephone number 8078275 for any information that may lead to the arrest of importers, manufacturers, distributors and sellers of banned silver cleaners.

Since the improper disposal of cyanide-laced silver cleaners can endanger aquatic life, the DOH and the DENR advised individuals and entities to surrender unregistered and unlabeled silver cleaning agents in their possession to the nearest office of the DENR-EMB or the DOH-FDA or their corresponding regional offices.

Citing information given by the UP National Poison Management and Control Center (UPNPMCC), the EcoWaste Coalition said that 11 Filipinos (three from adult age group and eight from pediatric age group) died in 2009 out of the 235 cases of silver cleaner poisoning handled or referred to the Center.

UPNPMCC data also showed that 11 more people (6 adults and 5 children) have died from January to September 2010 due to silver cleaner poisoning.

The PGH-based Center also reported a dramatic increase in the non-accidental intake of silver cleaners, which rose from 7% in 2005 to 86% in 2009.

From July to September 2010, 57 of the 68 in-patient admissions and telephone referrals managed by the UPNPMCC were due to non-accidental ingestion of silver cleaners, or 84% of the cases handled.

-end-

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 329, Eagle Court Condominium, Matalino St.
Quezon City, Philippines
+63 2 441-1846
ecowastecoalition@yahoo.com

08 November 2010

EcoWaste Coalition Offers Tips for Earth and Budget Friendly Christmas Shopping

Quezon City. As Christmas approaches, we see the shopping frenzy shooting up. Unknown to many, the holiday buying extravaganza can be stressful not only for shoppers and motorists, but
to Mother Earth as well.

“With the huge amounts of fossil fuels spent, greenhouse gases emitted and trash created during the most festive time of the year, Christmas can be ‘traumatic,’ instead of fun, for the climate and Mother Earth,” lamented Roy Alvarez, President of the EcoWaste Coalition, a waste and pollution watchdog.

According to the group’s “Climate Change Survival Guide,” the extraction, transportation, processing, manufacturing, marketing and advertising of products and the disposal after their useful lives consume lots of energy and all result in greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet.

This means that every time we buy something, energy was used to produce that item and get it to us, using up earth’s finite resources and causing emissions at every step of the path, the EcoWaste Coalition explained.

“We make the holiday pollution worse by our failure to embrace the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) as core practices in our personal, family and community lifestyles,” Alvarez observed.

“If we don’t watch our waste size over the joyous holidays, we’ll surely end up with another stinking garbage disposal crisis that can ruin the yuletide spirit,” he warned.

Metro Manila’s garbage, the group said, can go up by one-third, or even double in some areas, during the Christmas holidays due to the widespread consumption binge. The metropolis, according to the Metro Manila Development Authority, produces some 6,000 metric tons of trash daily.

Bins and bags overflowing with plastic garbage, packaging materials, kitchen discards and party leftovers are common sights in the neigborhood during the jolly season, while ugly and smelly dumps thrive on street corners and around market areas, commented the EcoWaste Coalition.

To guide consumers on how to enjoy Christmas without upsetting the family budget and, yes, the environment, too, the EcoWaste Coalition has come up with an initial list of 30 practical earth and budget friendly tips for the season.

“We hope these tips, which were suggested by our affiliates, would help our people in lessening the environmental impacts of our merry Christmas celebration and making it in harmony with faith, life and nature,” Alvarez said.

I. PRE-SHOPPING TIPS:

1. Take stock of what you have. Check for things that can be repaired, reused, recycled or even re-gifted before buying new items.

2. Write down all your holiday necessities and take this list when you shop to avoid impulsive purchases.

3. Organize and plan your trips to the palengke, supermarkets or malls to reduce transportation costs as well as ease holiday traffic jams.

4. Set a holiday budget and avoid straying from it; remember to save enough for post-December expenses.

5. Look out for holiday sales to avail of deep discounts for stuff that you and your family truly need. Watch out and support charity fairs.

II. ACTUAL SHOPPING TIPS:

1. Bring your own bayong or reusable carry bags when you shop. Drop plastic bags, join the reusable bag bandwagon.

2. Consider buying in bulk to cut on product cost as well as packaging waste.

3. Pick products with the slightest packaging and avoid excessively packed items.

4. Select products made of recycled materials and with the most recycled contents.

5. Seek and buy goods that are durable and can be repaired, reused, recycled or passed on to other users.

6. Patronize locally-produced stuff, support the local economy and lessen greenhouse gas emissions.

7. Save receipts in case you need to return defective goods and wrong sizes and requirements.

III. ALTERNATIVE GIFT GIVING:

1. Think about re-giving gifts that you may have obtained at one time but have not used.

2. Look through your closet and give away clothes and accessories that your relatives and friends might have been admiring for some time like a pretty scarf, a nice jacket, a cute bag, etc.

3. Share books that have been read and stored in your shelf to friends who share the same interest.

4. Write heartfelt messages to family and friends on recycled Christmas cards and include a photo or two you have of them.

5. Cut up old Christmas cards and reuse them as gift tags.

6. Send e-cards in lieu of paper cards. Personalize them with your own graphic designs or choice photos.

7. Share your signature home-made goodies and dishes, especially from “secret” personal or family recipes.

8. Cook Noche Buena dinners for street children or to families who do not have anything to eat on Christmas Eve.

9. Tell your loved ones that instead of giving them gifts this year, you will make donations in their names to charities, orphanages and environmental projects.

10. Draw or paint creative stuff on flat and smooth stones to make paperweights, plain mugs to make pencil holder or bayong or katsa bag to make your shopping bags more "sosyal.”

11. Choose gifts that come with little or no packaging at all such as gift certificates, movie or concert tickets, bus or train passes, raffle coupons, etc.

12. Don’t wrap gifts. If wrapping is really needed, try old magazines or newspapers, discarded bandannas or fabric scraps. You can also use craft paper and jazz it up with colored pencils.

13. Give gifts that grow and restore the environment such as plant and flower seeds or bulbs, kitchen herbs or tree saplings.

14. If you feel that you absolutely have to buy something, then patronize local products such as handicrafts made by indigenous and rural communities, jail detainees and the urban poor, non-toxic personal care items, organic products from health and wellness groups, reusable bags from women’s and environmental groups, and other gift items from charities and cooperatives.

15. Buy simple notebooks, cover them with attractive used fabrics and write inspirational verses or excerpts from poems and songs at the bottom of every 15th page.

16. When giving toys, choose ones that are free of choking, laceration and toxic hazards, age-appropriate and properly labeled.

17. Shun replica guns and other war toys. Go for toys that promote creativity, non-aggressive behavior and social harmony.

18. Gift your barangay by leading or getting involved in a neighborhood project that will serve the poor or preserve the community environment.

-end-

06 November 2010

Bishop Iñiguez seeks action vs. deadly silver jewelry cleaners

A Catholic Bishop has lauded the ban imposed by health and environment agencies on silver jewelry cleaners containing cyanide and other dangerous chemicals.

Bishop Deogracias S. Iñiguez, Jr. of the Diocese of Kalookan joined the EcoWaste Coalition in welcoming the much-sought ban on cleaning solutions for tarnished jewelry that may contain cyanide, thiourea and other substances of concern.

“I’m happy that the government has finally heeded our plea to prohibit the sale of toxic silver cleaners that has already claimed so many lives, including those of innocent children,” he said.

“The next step is to actively enforce the ban,” the bishop pointed out.

“We cannot expect accidental and suicidal ingestion of silver cleaner to cease if the ban will not be fully enforced nationwide,” he stated.

“For the safety of human lives and the environment, please ensure that the ban is faithfully complied with and the violators duly prosecuted,” Bishop Iñiguez told the authorities.

Bishop Iñiguez in July 2009 called attention to the increasing use of toxic silver cleaners as a suicide potion, which he described as “an act of violence against oneself.”

“We are all made in God’s image and likeness, so we must strive to glorify Him in our bodies and protect, not harm, ourselves from health-damaging substances like cyanide,” he said.

The University of the Philippines – National Poison Management and Control Center (UPNPMCC) and the East Avenue Medical Center – Poison Control Unit have classified silver jewelry cleaners as one of the top three toxicants, or poison agents, for patients admitted in the last two years.

Acute poisoning occurs through ingestion, inhalation and dermal absorption where cyanide is rapidly absorbed in the body and blocks utilization of oxygen in all organs.

Citing information from the UPNPMCC, the EcoWaste Coalition lamented that in 2009 alone 11 Filipinos (three from adult age group and eight from pediatric age group) died out of the 235 cases of silver cleaner poisoning handled or referred to the PGH-based group.

From January to September 2010, 11 have already died (6 adults and 5 children).

More recent data show that between July to September 2010, 57 of the 68 in-patient admissions and telephone referrals managed by the UPNPMCC were due to non-accidental ingestion of silver cleaners, or 84% of the cases handled.

The UPNPMCC also reported a dramatic increase in the non-accidental intake of silver cleaners, which rose from 7% in 2005 to 86% in 2009.

-end-

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 329, Eagle Court Condominium, Matalino St.
Quezon City, Philippines
+63 2 441-1846
ecowastecoalition@yahoo.com

03 November 2010

EcoWaste Coalition Lauds Government Order to Stop Spate of Cyanide Poisoning Cases


The EcoWaste Coalition, a toxic watchdog, lauded the issuance of a government directive banning silver jewelry cleaning agents containing cyanide as a triumph for public safety from harmful chemicals.

A Joint Advisory signed by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Sec. Ramon J.P. Paje and Department of Health (DOH) Sec. Enrique T. Ona declared silver cleaners containing cyanide and other toxic substances as “threat to health and safety” and affirmed “the strict prohibition on their sale in the market.”

“We laud our environment and health authorities for taking tough action to stop the injuries and deaths from the accidental and non-accidental ingestion of cyanide-laced silver cleaners. This is a victory for public safety against toxics," said Dr. Leah Primitiva Samaco-Paquiz, Secretary of the EcoWaste Coalition.

"Alone, the advisory would not be enough to ensure zero poisoning and death. We therefore urge the government to craft and carry out a corresponding ‘Oplan Silver Cleaner’ enforcement mechanism,” she pointed out.

The group likewise commended the University of the Philippines – National Poison Management and Control Center (UP-NPMCC), DOH-Environmental and Occupational Health Office and the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) .

“We must stay vigilant against the sale of these cheap, but extremely deadly chemical mixtures. Through our AlerToxic Patrol volunteers, we will continue to monitor the market and duly inform the authorities,” added Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project PROTECT (People Responding and Organizing against Toxic Chemical Threats).

The EcoWaste Coalition, Dizon announced, will disseminate “Save Lives” posters to notify dealers and consumers about the combined move by the health and environment departments to bring silver cleaner poisoning cases to a close.

“All commercial establishments such as jewelry shops and other retail outlets and ambulant vendors are strongly warned against selling and/or dispensing unregistered and unlabeled silver cleaners,” the Joint Advisory said.

“Anyone found selling the banned products shall be penalized ,” the Joint Advisory warned as the government sought the help of concerned citizens in providing information that may lead to the apprehension of unscrupulous importers, manufacturers, distributors and sellers by calling DOH-Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at 8078275.

To prevent indiscriminate disposal that can harm aquatic life, the Joint Advisory, as proposed by the EcoWaste Coalition, directed all individuals and entities to surrender unregistered and unlabeled silver cleaning agents in their possession to the nearest office of the DENR-EMB or the DOH-FDA or their corresponding regional offices.

Data provided by the UPNPMCC to the EcoWaste Coalition show that in 2009 alone 11
Filipinos (three from adult age group and eight from pediatric age group) died out of the 235 cases of silver cleaner poisoning handled or referred to the PGH-based group. From January to September 2010, 11 have already died (6 adults and 5 children).

The UPNPMCC also reported a dramatic increase in the non-accidental intake of silver cleaners, which rose from 7% in 2005 to 86% in 2009.

More recent data show that between July to September 2010, 57 of the 68 in-patient admissions and telephone referrals managed by the UPNPMCC were due to non-accidental ingestion of silver cleaners, or 84% of the cases handled.

The EcoWaste Coalition had written over 10 letters to the government through the DENR from May 2009 up to October 2010 alerting the agency about the illegal sale of toxic silver cleaners, the numerous poisoning cases as reported in the media and the urgency of enforcing the ban.

Last August 23, the EcoWaste Coalition, together with nearly 150 groups and individuals from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and the National Capital Region, petitioned the DENR to duly implement the ban as embodied in “Chemical Control Order for Cyanide and Cyanide-Compounds.”

In the same petition, they urged the DENR to launch an “Oplan Silver Cleaner,” stressing “that we are racing against time to save the next Filipino from getting injured and killed by cyanide poisoning.”

On July 6, the EcoWaste Coalition brought a mock coffin in a black veil event called “Kalampag-Luksa” outside the DENR to draw attention to the senseless deaths due to the ingestion of toxic silver cleaners.

-end-

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 329, Eagle Court Condominium, Matalino St.
Quezon City, Philippines
+63 2 441-1846
ecowastecoalition@yahoo.com

02 November 2010

"Zombasura" and Zero Waste Advocates Join Manila North Cemetery Clean Up Activity



Volunteers from Buklod Tao and the EcoWaste Coalition, together with "Zombasura" and members of the Philippine Army, participate in a clean up activity organized by GMA 7's "Unang Hirit " at the entrance of the Manila North Cemetery.

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 329, Eagle Court Condominium, Matalino St.
Quezon City, Philippines
+63 2 441-1846
ecowastecoalition@yahoo.com

01 November 2010

EcoWaste Coalition Promotes Waste Reduction at Manila South Cemetery


A friendly eco-reminder from the EcoWaste Coalition greets visitors to the Manila South Cemetery in Makati City as thousands flock to the burial site to offer flowers, candles and prayers to their dearly departed.

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 329, Eagle Court Condominium, Matalino St.
Quezon City, Philippines
+63 2 441-1846