After exposing the illegal sale of products banned by the government for health and safety reasons in Makati, Manila, Pasay and Quezon Cities, the EcoWaste Coalition has turned its sights on Marikina City.
In an urgent report submitted to Mayor Del de Guzman and City Health Officer Dr. Alberto Herrera, the watchdog group bared the unchecked sale of products banned by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) at the Marikina Market Mall, which is only a stone’s throw away from the Marikina City Health Office.
Based on market surveillance conducted on August 20, the group found several general merchandise stores selling unregistered insect sprays and mosquito coils that have not passed the FDA’s safety and efficacy assessment.
“Our latest investigation shows that the sale of unregistered insect killers is rife not only in Baclaran, Divisoria and Quiapo, but also in other bustling retail centers such as the Marikina Market Mall,” said Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.
“The ubiquitous presence of these contraband goods in the local market is deeply alarming and should trigger a metro-wide crackdown to cripple such illegal trade,” he suggested.
As per EcoWaste’s market monitoring, the following unregistered insecticides in aerosol cans are being sold in Marikina: Baolliai, Big Bie Pai, Sun Universe Frog King, Tangshi, Tianshi and Txaksi.
The FDA had earlier warned that unregistered insecticides “are harmful, toxic and imminently dangerous to human and animal health.”
On the other hand, among the unregistered mosquito coils being offered for sale in the area include Anlu, Bike BNC, Brother, Mantis and Wawang. Anlu, BNC, Brother and Wawang were among those banned by the FDA last July 30.
“Pesticides in mosquito coils found in unregistered products may be toxic when inhaled or accidentally ingested by toddler or children,” the FDA warned
The EcoWaste Coalition also drew attention to the illegal sale in Marikina of FDA-banned skin whitening cosmetics laced with mercury such as the Angel Placenta Skin Whitening Cream , JJJ Magic Spots Removing Cream and S’zitang Whitening Cream.
Time after time, the FDA requested LGUs “to apprehend vendors or outlets found selling the said highly toxic cosmetic products to prevent further exposure and to protect the environment."
“With the health and well-being of the people of Marikina in mind, we request the City Government to immediately take action to cause of the removal of the said banned products from the market,” the EcoWaste Coalition through Dizon wrote to De Guzman.
The group also asked for the prosecution of the offenders in accordance with R.A. 9711, the Food and Drugs Administration Act, R.A. 7394, the Consumer Act of the Philippines, and other applicable laws.
As the group’s surveillance was limited to Marikina Market Mall and Riverbanks Mall, the group urged the local authorities to dispatch its health and sanitation inspectors to other public markets and retail centers in the city.