23 April 2018

Groups Nudge Senate to Prioritize Passage of Safe and Non-Hazardous Children’s Products Act

Laban Konsyumer, Inc., a consumer protection group, and the EcoWaste Coalition, an environmental health group, have jointly asked the Senate to expedite the approval of a crucial bill that will protect children from being harmed by toxic substances in products produced and marketed for their use.

Through a letter sent last week to Senate President Koko Pimentel and Senator JV Ejercito, the two groups prodded the lawmakers to fast track the approval of Senate Bill 1084, or the proposed Safe and Non-Toxic Children’s Products Act, for the sake of children’s health and safety.

“While its counterpart bill at the House of Representatives was unanimously approved in December 2017, Senate Bill 1084, as per Senate records, has not progressed at all.  We request the Senate leadership to get the legislative process moving with the aim of getting this important bill enacted this year,” said Atty. Vic Dimagiba, President, Laban Konsyumer, Inc.  

Senate Bill  1084 seeks to regulate the manufacture, importation, distribution and sale of children’s toys, school supplies, childcare articles and other related products containing toxic chemicals beyond the permissible limits. 

It was introduced by Ejercito on August 25, 2016, read on First Reading on August 30 2016 and subsequently referred to the Committee on Health and Demography (the primary committee) chaired by Ejercito himself.

Among the chemicals of concern initially targeted under the said bill are heavy metals such as antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead and mercury, phthalates and Bisphenol A.

On the other hand, the House of Representatives approved last December 17 House Bill 6702, or the proposed Safe and Non-Hazardous Children’s Products Act,  which was co-introduced by 35 legislators from different political parties and party list groups.

“As Senate Bill 1084 seeks to uphold the health of all children who are most susceptible to the detrimental effects of chemical exposures, we believe our good senators should put the passage of this bill on top of their priority list,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.  

"The approval of the bill, we hope, will pave the way for stringent controls that will ensure children's products sold in the country do not pose health risks to their users and to the environment, too," he added.     
According to Laban Konsyumer, Inc. and the EcoWaste Coalition, the enactment of the consolidated Senate and House Bills and its approval by President Rodrigo Duterte may serve as the most enduring legacy of the 17th Congress in terms of protecting kids from hazardous substances hiding in everyday children’s products.

-end-

Reference:

Link to H.B. No. 6702:
http://congress.gov.ph/ legisdocs/first_17/CR00487.pdf

Link to S.B. No. 1084:
http://senate.gov.ph/lis/bill_ res.aspx?congress=17&q=SBN- 1084

No comments: