Solidarity Statement towards a Lead-Safe School Environment for Bright and Healthy Children
4 May 2016
We, representatives from health professional societies, academic associations, labor centers and trade unions, party-list groups, public interest health and environmental groups, as well as religious leaders and other concerned individuals recognize that:
- Exposure to toxic lead can harm human health and the environment and that precautionary and preventive measures are needed to reduce, if not eliminate, such exposure;
- While lead exposure is also harmful to adults, particularly to women of child-bearing age and workers, human foetuses and children are most susceptible to the health effects of lead exposure, which can be permanent and can have lifelong impact;
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “young children are particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead and can suffer profound and permanent adverse health effects, particularly affecting the development of the brain and nervous system”;
- According to the WHO, “lead affects children’s brain development resulting in reduced intelligence quotient (IQ), behavioural changes such as shortening of attention span and increased antisocial behaviour, and reduced educational attainment”;
- According to the WHO, “there is no known level of lead exposure that is considered safe” and that “lead poisoning is entirely preventable”;
We further recognize that childhood lead exposure, mainly through the ingestion and inhalation of lead-containing paint, dust and soil - which are major sources of lead exposure among children - can and must be prevented to protect our children’s brains, their health and future;
Mindful of the above, we join the EcoWaste Coalition, a non-profit environmental group, in calling on the Department of Education to declare the entire educational system as a lead-free zone by adopting a lead-safe paint procurement policy and by carefully addressing lead paint hazards.
Together in solidarity to uphold the right of all children for a lead-safe school environment:
Dr. E. Ulysses Dorotheo, Chairman, Philippine Medical Association – Committee on Environmental Health and Ecology
Dr. Milagros Bautista, immediate past President, Philippine Pediatric Society, Inc.
Dr. Eva Irene Yu-Maglonzo, President, Philippine Academy of Family Physicians, Inc.
Dr. Victoria G. Bael, President, Child Neurology Society Philippines, Inc.
Dr. Lynn Crisanta R. Panganiban, President, Philippine Society of Clinical and Occupational Toxicology, Inc.
Dr. Maria Encarnita B. Limpin, Executive Director, Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance, Philippines
Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, Chairperson, Health Futures Foundation, Inc. (former Secretary, Department of Health)
Dr. Suzette H. Lazo (former Director, Food and Drugs Administration)
Dr. Irma Makalinao, Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of the Philippines – College of Medicine
Dr. Visitacion Antonio-Evangelista, Department Head, Out-Patient Department, East Avenue Medical Center
Dr. Anabelle Sinlao, Lecturer, Manila Central University - College of Medicine
Dr. Luis P. Gatmaitan, Child Development Specialist, National Council for Children’s Television
Dr. Herbert Q, Carpio, Executive Director, Childhope Philippines
Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ, President, Davao Association of Catholic Schools, Inc.
Br. Jun S. Erguiza, President, Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines
Dr. Antonio G.M. La Viña, Dean, Ateneo School of Government
Marlon Pareja, Director, Environmental Resource Management Center, De La Salle University – Dasmariñas
Anabelle E. Plantilla, Executive Director, Miriam Environmental Studies Institute
Sen. Grace Poe, Partido Galing at Puso (2016 presidential candidate)
Sen. Francis Escudero, Partido Galing at Puso (2016 vice-presidential candidate)
Former Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, Independent (2016 senatorial candidate)
Risa Hontiveros, Akbayan Partylist (2016 senatorial candidate)
Former Sen. Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.
Most Rev. Socrates B. Villegas, DD, Archbishop of Dagupan
Most Rev. Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, DD, Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro and Co-Convenor of Climate Change Congress of the Philippines
Most Rev. Ramon C. Arguelles, DD, Archbishop of Lipa
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio S. David, DD, Diocese of Kalookan
Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, DD, Manila Auxiliary Bishop
Most Rev Ephraim S. Fajutagana, Obispo Maximo, Iglesia Filipina Independiente
Bishop Noel A. Pantoja, National Director, Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches
Bishop Frederick Luis M. Belmonte, Anglican Church in the Philippines (Traditional)
Bishop Arturo Asi, Executive Secretary, United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP)
Rev. Rannieh Mercado, Executive Secretary for Program Ministries of UCCP
Rev. Jerome Baris, Coordinator, Justice, Peace and Human Rights Program of the UCCP
Fr. Roberto P. Reyes, OFM
Fr. Elijah Pantorilla, OFM Conv.
Sr. Stella G. Wangari, Franciscan of Our Lady of the Poor
Ching Alano, Consumer Columnist, Philippine Star
Dr. Philip S. Chua, Chairman, Filipino United Network-USA (health columnist, Malaya)
Victoria M. Segovia, Associate Professor, Philippine Women’s University
Carmelita P. Martinez, University of Southeastern Philippines
Alvin O. Magbuhos, OIC for Students’ Activity/Discipline, Colegio de San Lorenzo
Pauline Sagalongos, Education Research Officer, UP Minggan
Gie Relova, Secretary-General, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino- National Capital Region
Annie Enriquez Geron, President, Public Services Labor Independent Confederation
Josua Mata, Secretary-General, Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson, Teachers’ Dignity Coalition
Raymond Mendoza, President, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines
Rep. Leah S. Paquiz, Ang NARS Partylist
Atty. Aaron Pedrosa, Secretary-General, Sanlakas Partylist
Carmina Obanil, Advocacy and Campaign Coordinator, 11.11.11
Tony Santos, President, Advocates for Environmental and Social Justice
Fr. Max Abalos, SVD, Action for Nurturing Children and Environment, Inc.
Sixto Carlos, Jr., Secretary-General, Advocates for Environmental and Social Justice
Ma. Consolacion A. Matnao, Program Manager, IP Education Program, Assisi Development Foundation
Joey Papa, President, Bangon Kalikasan Movement
Noli Abinales, President, Buklod Tao, Inc.
Ochie Tolentino, Coordinator, Cavite Green Coalition
Gerry Arances, Convenor, Center for Energy, Ecology and Development
Esther Pacheco, President, Concerned Citizens Advocating Philippine Environmental Sustainability
Enrique A. Nuñez Jr., Country Executive Director, Conservation International Philippines Foundation Inc.
Milagros S. Serrana, Treasurer, Consumer Rights to Safe Food
Engr. Cristy G. Gallano, Davao River Initiatives
Trixie Concepcion, Regional Director, Earth Island Institute
Adrien Aleksey I. Benitez, President, EARTH-UST
Javier Claparols, Director, Ecological Society of the Philippines
Froilan Grate, Executive Director, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives - Philippines
Jennifer H. Guste, Coordinator, Green Action PH
Von Hernandez, Greenpeace International (Goldman Environmental Prize Awardee 2003)
Amalie Obusan, Country Director, Greenpeace Philippines
Dr. Angelina Galang, President, Green Convergence for Safe Food, Healthy Environment and Sustainable Economy
Arcadio S. Sabella, President, GUIDE, Inc.
Maria Belinda E. de la Paz, Chief Operating Officer, Haribon Foundation
Ramon San Pascual, Executive Director, Health Care Without Harm-Asia
Jeiel Guarino, Global Lead Paint Elimination Campaigner, IPEN
Manny C. Calonzo, Global Lead Paint Elimination Campaign Advisor, IPEN
Eileen Sison, Institute for the Development of Educational and Ecological Alternatives
Ann Fuertes, Executive Director, Interface Development Interventions
Chona Langaoen, President, Junior Chamber International - Quezon City
Maricel A. Tolentino, Kaisahan
Clemente Bautista, National Coordinator, Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment
Alma Monica A. de la Paz, Executive Director, Kapwa Upliftment Foundation Inc.
Neneng Joson, Krusada sa Kalikasan
Betty Cabazares, Kinaiyahan Foundation, Inc.
Victor Sumampong, President, Ligdung Sumbanan Alang sa Kabataan sa Sugbo
Emmanuel C. Roldan, Executive Director, Luna Legal Resource Center, Inc.
Dagohoy Magaway, President, Mamamayan Ayaw sa Aerial Spraying
Abet Gavino, Maskara-GSF (Cavite)
Inorisa Elento, Executive Director, Mindanao Migrants Center for Empowering Actions, Inc.
Michael Seneres, Coordinator, Ministri sa Pamamahala sa Kalikasan, Our Lady of Candelaria (Cavite)
Elsie Retanan , Coordinator, Ministri sa Pamamahala sa Kalikasan, Risen Christ Parish (Cavite)
Ernesto C. Miramontes, Coordinator, Ministri sa Pamamahala sa Kalikasan, San Jose Manggagawa (Cavite)
Sonia Mendoza, Chairman, Mother Earth Foundation
Catherine Untalan-Vital, Executive Director, MyBirthday Foundation (Miss Earth Water 2006)
Mong Palatino, Chairman, Nilad
Atty. Gloria Estenzo-Ramos, Vice-President, Oceana Philippines
Rodolfo Olayvar, Chapel Coordinator, OLPGV Sub-Pastoral Council
Dr. Romy Quijano, President, Pesticide Action Network - Philippines
Anna Cabrera, Executive Director, Philippine Animal Welfare Society
Glenn Mata, Energy Transformation Officer, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice
Isagani Serrano, President, Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement
Anna Oposa, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Save Philippine Seas
Fr. Pete Montallana, President, Save Sierra Madre Network Alliance
Atty. Antonio Oposa, Jr., CBB, SEA Camp
Remy Bacl-ean, Board Member, Shoreline Kabalikat sa Kinabukasan, Inc.
Marlon Palomares, Choir Master, Sta. Cecilia Youth Choir
Jmer Baccay, Chairman, Task Force Youth Development Team
Nazario Cacayan, Executive Director- Yamog Renewable Energy Development Group, Inc.
Clarissa Magsarili, Secretary, Zero Waste Philippines
Kagawad Arnel I. del Valle, Chairman, Committee on Environmental Protection, Sangguniang Barangay F. de Castro, GMA, Cavite