Playground Contractor Urged to Heed Mayor Magalong’s Concerns

Newly-installed play equipment

An environmental health group that detected dangerously high levels of lead on painted play facilities at the Children’s Playground in Burnham Park resulting to their eventual removal and replacement has appealed to the contractor to heed concerns raised by Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong.

“We appeal to the contractor to initiate remedial steps, with concurrence from the city authorities, to hasten the inauguration of the newly-installed play facilities that are reportedly lead-safe and compliant with toy safety regulations,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner.

According to a Facebook post by the Public Information Office (PIO), Magalong will not sign the project acceptance form and issue the necessary payment to the contractor due to “poor workmanship and deviation from the promised specifications.”

 “While we regret this temporary setback, we recognize the obligation of the contractor to adhere to the agreed specifications, which were adopted with the children’s safety as well as Burnham Park’s master development plan in mind,” Dizon said.

Quoting Atty. Rhenan Diwas, Assistant City Environment and Parks Management Officer, the PIO said the contractor had promised to make alterations and offered to present a proposal for work adjustment to Magalong for approval.

Inca Philippines, the contractor, had so far installed five sets of multi-functional play equipment with each set mounted on a concrete base.

Diwas had previously said: "The play equipment to replace the old ones have rubber base and are movable.  We will not be having a hard time moving or incorporating the play equipment once the redevelopment of the park pushes through."

Meanwhile, the EcoWaste Coalition reiterated the need to replace the old swings at the Children’s Playground, which are still operational to date, noting that the swings are coated with lead-containing paints.

The group had earlier warned that lead-coated playground equipment poses lead poisoning risk for park visitors, especially for young children.  

 “As the paint on the play equipment chips and wears with repeated use, the lead in the deteriorating paint is released, contaminating the surrounding areas,” the group said, adding that “children playing in the park get dust or soil on their hands and ingest it through usual hand-to-mouth behavior," the group explained.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “when used in homes, schools, and playgrounds, lead paint can be a source of lead exposure to children, who easily ingest dust, soil or paint chips by putting their hands in their mouths.”

“Lead is especially dangerous to children’s developing brains, and can cause reduced intelligence quotient (IQ) and attention span, impaired learning ability, and increased risk of behavioral problems,” the WHO said.

The WHO has repeatedly reminded “there is no known level of lead exposure without harmful effects.”




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