APRIL 17, 2013

NR # 3076B

House leader seeks enactment of country's Hazardous and Radioactive Wastes Management Law
A House leader today expressed hope that members of the incoming 16th Congress will prioritize enactment into law of a proposal seeking to provide for a comprehensive hazardous and radioactive wastes management, with appropriate penalties on violations. Rep. Roger Mercado, (Lone District, Southern Leyte) said House Bill 4812, of which he is one of its 20 authors, was approved on third and final reading by the House of Representatives on August 3, 2011 and remains pending in the Senate. “I hope this important measure will merit the attention and support of the incoming 16th Congress. We need such law to protect human health and our environment from the potential risks of hazardous and radioactive wastes,” said Mercado, Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation. The solon said the proposed “Philippine Hazardous and Radioactive Wastes Management Act” seeks to develop and implement a national and local integrated and comprehensive hazardous and radioactive waste management programs focusing on pollution prevention and resource conservation recovery. As defined in the bill, Mercado said hazardous and radioactive waste management should refer to the systematic administration of activities, which provide for the identification, listing, collection, segregation, storage, transport, recovery, reuse, processing, reprocessing, treatment, and disposal of hazardous and radioactive wastes. It defines hazardous waste as a substance discarded from commercial and industrial establishments, institutions and healthcare facilities which, because of the concentration or physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics, may cause or significantly contribute to increases in mortality or serious illnesses, or pose an unreasonable risk and potential threat to human health and the environment. Likewise, it refers to radioactive wastes as materials that contain or are contaminated with radionuclides at concentrations or activities greater than clearance levels as established by the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI). This also refers to disused sealed sources for which no use is foreseen. The measure provides that within 18 months from effectivity of the Philippine Hazardous and Radioactive Wastes Management Act, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH), PNRI and other appropriate agencies and entities, shall prepare and formulate a National Hazardous and Radioactive Waste Management Framework that shall contain the following: • Hazardous and radioactive waste control strategies and techniques; • Proper hazardous and radioactive waste transport, treatment, storage and disposal systems; • Waste reduction goals and targets; • Period of compliance for waste reduction; • Information and education campaign; • Human resources development; and • Roles and responsibilities of relevant government agencies. (30) rbb

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