By Chito Chavez
Heeding the mounting calls for the ban on the sale of toxic products in the market, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista signed an ordinance compelling construction firms and workers to use lead-safe paints in the construction, maintenance, and renovation of the city’s projects and activities.
Authored by Councilor Elizabeth Delarmente, City Ordinance 2739-2018, covers the procurement and use of certified lead-safe paints including enamels, glazes, lacquers, primers, stains, varnishes and other surface coatings for the city government-funded projects.
Toxic watchdog EcoWaste Coalition has been at the forefront of the prohibition in the ban on the use of hazardous chemicals in consumer products citing that lead paint can cause severe and permanent injuries or even death if inhaled and ingested, especially to babies, children, women of child-bearing age and workers.
The ordinance prohibits the following: procuring paints containing lead above the regulatory limit of 90 parts per million as per Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Administrative Order no. 2013-2014; purchasing paints that lack independent proof of compliance with the regulatory standard on lead paint; receiving and applying donated paints that are not compliant with the lead paint regulation, and; using lead-containing paints above the regulatory limit in decorating public facilities including schools, parks, playgrounds, health centers, sports complexes, and covered multipurpose courts.
The City Engineering Department will lead the implementation of this ordinance as well as the information and education campaign, in partnership with Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department (EPWMD), Parks Development and Administration Department (PDAD), Division of City Schools, and Quezon City Health Department.
Persons who will violate this ordinance will be charged a fine of P2,000 for first offense, P3,000 for second offense, and P5,000 fine with an imprisonment of 30 days or cancellation of business license given by the city government for succeeding offenses.
The DENR released the Administrative Order no. 2013-2014 that phases out lead-containing paints used for architectural, decorative and household applications from the period of 2013 to 2016, and a six-year phaseout from 2013 to 2019 for industrial applications.
The city government complies with its mandate to enact ordinances that promote health, safety and the right of the people to a balanced ecology under the Republic Act 7160 also known as the Local Government Code of 1991.