A waste and pollution watchdog group, EcoWaste Coalition, urged the government to ban the importation of electronic waste (e-waste) in light of the e-waste production soared to 53.6 million tons in 2019 worldwide.
“The global surge in the production of e-waste is deeply concerning for developing countries like the Philippines that still allow the importation of electronic junks,” said Roxanne Figueroa, electronic waste campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition.
E-waste is classified as a hazardous waste under the Basel Convention due to the presence of toxic substances such as lead and mercury and is expected to reach 74.7 million tons by 2030.
According to the latest Global E-Waste Monitor, “a considerable amount of e-waste is still exported illegally or under the guise of being for reuse or pretending to be scrap metal.”
The e-waste management infrastructure has little to no development within the middle- and low-income countries. Thereby, such waste is handled under inferior and informal conditions that caused severe health effects to workers and people who live near e-waste management areas.
Under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Administrative Order (DENR AO) 2013-22, the provision allows importation of “recyclable materials” to certain restricting conditions and compliance to the requirements set by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the department.
At present, EMB is reviewing and revising the said administrative order to update the requirements and address emerging issues through the draft of the “Guidelines on the Environmentally Sound Management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment,” to be issued soon