1st National Roundtable Discussion
International Day of Action
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
Downtown, Rembrandt Hotel, T. Morato Ave., Q.C., May 23, 2002
May 23, 2002
Guest of Honor:
Congressman Edward Veloso
1st Dist., Leyte
Chairman, House Committee on Natural Resources
Ms Angelita Brabante
Chief, Environmental Management Bureau
Ms Alexandra Pablo
Supervising Science Research Specialist
Department of Science & Technology
Dr. Aleli Sudiacal
Environment & Occupational Health Division
Department of Health
Dr. Dario Sabularse
Deputy Executive Director
Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority
Department of Agriculture
Ms Antoniette Aristoza
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Ms O’lola Ann Z. Olib
People’s Task Force for Bases Cleanup
Metro Manila Area
Global Alliance for Incineration Alternatives
Concerned Citizens Against Pollution
Mother Earth Unlimited
Recycling Movement of the Philippines
Health Care Without Harm
Gathering for Peace
Nuclear Free Philippines Coalition
Lingkod Tao Kalikasan
Health Alliance for Development
Community Health & Development
Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Phil., NASA
Cavite Greens Coalition
Metro Clark Toxic Waste Victims Association, Pampanga
Metro Subic Toxic Waste Victims Association, Zambales
Subic Asbestosis Victims Association, Olongapo City
Buklod-Tao, Inc., Montalban, Rizal
KKA, Angeles City
Social Action Center, Antipolo City
IMA Foundation, Angeles City
Peace Gathering Coalition, Zamnboanga & Basilan Cities
Amnesty International, Zamboanga City
PRESERVE, Iligan City
Misamis Occidental Movement for Peace & Environment, Ozamis City
DXSY, Ozamis City
DXOC, Ozamis City
Net 25 (TV)
COMMITMENTS and CONCERNS
- The DENR informed the body that it has already requested Senate to start the ratification process of the Stockholm Convention. However, Senate revealed that only the request was received. The Department of Foreign Affairs failed to officially endorse the Treaty to the Executive Department which is the right procedure for the ratification to commence. EMB-DENR will start fast-track activities enumerated in the NIP as all consultations with stakeholders have been already been done.
Timetable: two months.
- The Department of Health is continuing its study for dioxin levels of contamination on breast milk in identified areas in the country. It is now working on the control groups in various areas in Luzon, however, it cannot comment on incineration facilities of hospital wastes in view of the fact that the order for its use has already been signed by the Secretary and released to all hospitals. The Department of Science & Technology commented that dioxin release from hospital waste incinerators in the country is only about 300 TEQ/pg and is minimal compared to other sources. The Ecowaste Coalition participants moved for a concerted action against hospital waste incineration.
- DOST proceeds with its tie-up projects with the DOH particularly on dioxin as its inventory is only partial. Due to limited resources, the study can only be conducted in Luzon areas.
- The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations committed to prioritize hearings for the ratification of the Treaty as soon as it has been concurred by the Office of the President and the same has been officially transmitted to Senate for ratification. It is suggested that the same kind of roundtable discussion be conducted in the Senate among Senators as she believes that technical terms need to be clarified and explained.
- Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority clearly announced that POPs pesticides have already been banned way back in 1989. However, he admitted that the presence of Dieldrin, Chlordane and DDT in the market is due to illegal entry of these pesticides in remote ports. FPA committed that as long as reports of these pesticides reach their office, they would be confiscated and business permits shall be canceled as punishment for the violation for selling of banned pesticides.
- Realizing that there is a need to urge Philippine Government to act on the ratification process to be part of the 50 countries that must have ratified for the treaty to be enforceable, a Statement of Support has been signed by the participants to be submitted to the Philippine Senate, copy furnished the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the President. (Attached copy of Statement)
- Metro Clark Toxic Waste Victims Association raised their concern on how the POPs Treaty would affect areas that have been contaminated by POPs long before the treaty was forged. It was clarified that military bases contamination is not specified in the POPs treaty. However, it would depend on the Conference of Parties if they should include provisions that would affect former military bases contamination in the future.
- Participants from the South (Zamboanga City) likewise queried if there would be prospective environmental problems particularly Persistent Organic Pollutants after the War Games that the USA is doing in the South for over 2 months now. Learning from the lessons of the former US military bases, they noted that environmental concerns are not even addressed clearly in the lease agreement between the Zamboanga Eco Zone and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to allow use of the area for jungle training and warfare activities. It was suggested that this particular concern be raised and transmitted immediately to the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Oversight Committee on VFA.
A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S
The IPEN Day of Action was made possible through the initiatives and support of International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN), Greenpeace International and the People’s Task Force for Bases Cleanup- Philippine focal point.
Respectfully submitted by:
O’LOLA ANN Z. OLIB
People’s Task Force for Bases Cleanup
Hosted by: People’s Task Force for Bases Cleanup
in cooperation with International POPs Elimination Network & Greenpeace International
The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip in 2002