In preparation for the ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the Department of Trade and Industry’s Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS) held a briefing session last 09 July 2019 at the Center Conference Room, 6th Floor Trade and Industry Building, Makati City.
The Minamata Convention is a global treaty created to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. It was signed on 10 October 2013 by the Philippine government, together with one hundred and twenty–seven (127) other nations. The purpose of the briefing session is to discuss the DTI’s involvement in the implementation of the Minamata Convention. Engr. Teddy G. Monroy, National Expert on Mercury – United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Philippine Minamata Initial Assessment (MIA) Consultant, opened the briefing session by presenting the Minamata Convention to the representatives of BPS, Board of Investments (BOI), Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) and Consumer Protection and Advocacy Bureau (CPAB).
The focus of the Philippines is to phase out Mercury-added Products (MAPs), including the management of the associated mercury wastes. The Minamata Convention defines MAPs as products or components of products that contain mercury or a mercury compound that was intentionally added. The DTI-BPS will partner with several government agencies for the National Action Plan to implement the Minamata Convention. The turnover of the National Action Plan will be endorsed to the government agencies on 30 July 2019.
As a member of the Philippine Interagency Technical Working Group (IATWG) for the ratification of the Minamata Convention, the DTI-BPS’ tasks for the National Action Plan includes the updates and adoption of International Standards related to products containing mercury in the DTI-BPS Technical Committees’ work program.
DTI-BPS Director James E. Empeño acknowledges that even though mercury has unique properties that can be used in many ways, it still poses severe risks to human health. This is why the DTI-BPS supports the Minamata Convention to eliminate or regulate the use of mercury in the Philippines.
The DTI-BPS is the National Standards Body of the Philippines. It is the Philippines’ member to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).