The Department of Trade and Industry – Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS) expressed its strong support to gradually phase out mercury-containing products in order to protect human health and the environment.
The DTI-BPS and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) recently discussed the revised Chemical Control Order for mercury and mercury compounds in line with the implementation of the National Action Plan for the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
The DENR-EMB provided the DTI-BPS an overview of the DENR Administrative Order No. 2019-20 or the “Revised Chemical Control Order (CCO) for Mercury and Mercury Compounds (Revising DAO 1997-38)”, which incorporated the applicable provisions stated in the Minamata Convention.
The meeting underscored the key responsibilities of the DTI-BPS in the implementation of the Minamata Convention National Action Plan which include the development or revision of standards for products containing mercury (e.g. fluorescent lamps, compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), switches, and relays) and the issuance of regulations prescribing the gradual phaseout or banning of the non-conforming mercury containing products.
The DENR-EMB also held meetings with the concerned government agencies including the DTI-BPS and private organizations and discussed the submission of the proposal to extend the phaseout period for mercury-added products from 2021 to 2022 considering the Philippines’ recent ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury last year.
The extension proposal is consistent with Section 7.1 and Annex 1 of the revised CCO providing the phaseout schedule on the importation, manufacture, use, distribution, and storage of a range of mercury-added products by 2022.
The Philippines ratified the Minamata Convention on Mercury on 08 July 2020. The international treaty aims to protect human health and the environment from the various effects of mercury emissions and mercury compounds. The said treaty was named after the Minamata Bay in Japan which was contaminated by a wastewater containing methylmercury discharged from a chemical factory.