BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance regulating the use of lead-based paints in all construction, maintenance and renovation projects and activities of the local government.
The ordinance authored by Councilr Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated that the measure aims to safeguard the public health, promote safety and welfare in the work places as well as encourage a toxic-free environment in abating lead-based paints to be used in various projects and activities of the city.
Under the proposal, lead paint means a paint or surface coating containing lead while lead safe paint means a paint that does not contain added lead as verified and confirmed through a third party certification.
The ordinance shall cover the procurement of lead safe paints and other surface coatings including but not limited to enamels, glazes, laquers, primers, stains and varnishes for publicly funded construction, maintenance and renovation projects and activities undertaken by the local government as well as its partners from the public and private sectors.
The ordinance stipulated that it shall be unlawful for any individual to procure 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; procure paints that lack independent proof of compliance with the regulatory standards on lead paint; receive and apply donated paints that are not compliant with the lead pain regulations and use of lead-based paints in the implementation of public facilities and amenities including but not limited to schools, day care centers, children’s parks and playgrounds, health centers and multipurpose courts.
The ordinance added employees, contractors and service providers shall take the appropriate measures when surfaces coated with lead paint are disturbed during repair, remodelling or repainting activities to prevent and control the formation and dispersion of dangerous lead-based chips and dust, thereby reducing the risk of exposure of the public to lead.
Violators of the ordinance shall be penalized with a fine of P2,000 for the first offense, a fine of P3,000 for the second offense a fine of P5,000 and imprisonment of 30 days or both at the discretion of the court for the third and succeeding offenses.
The ordinance tasked the City Engineering Office to lead in the strict implementation of the pertinent provisions of the measure and it shall be the duty of the implementing officer to disseminate the necessary information that will inform and enjoin employees, contractors and service providers to abide by the measure; collect data for any paint used by external contractors and service providers; prepare an annual report describing the programs in the implementation of the ordinance; coordinate with the City Environment and parks Management Office, City Schools Division Office and the City Health Services Office for the implementation of the measure and coordinate with relevant national government agencies, including the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), the Occupational Safety and Health Center and other agencies for the guaranteed implementation of the measure.
By Dexter A. See