Sunday, March 27, 2011


WHEREAS, PCBs, being a type of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and are commonly used in the past as dielectric fluid for electrical transformers and capacitors, and are also used in old fluorescent ballasts, liquid-filled circuit breakers, voltage regulators, and other industrial applications, and which may have even found its way into used-oil recycling in the country; are now being phased out in the country due to their characteristics which are as follows:
• They are toxic to humans and wildlife
• They resist degradation and remain in the environment for a very long time.
• They enter the food chain and accumulate in fatty tissues of animals and humans;

WHEREAS, studies have shown that PCBs can lead to adverse reproductive, developmental and endocrine effects, and that they are suspected to be cancer-causing in humans;

WHEREAS, the Philippines is undertaking a project called the Non-Com POPs Project, a United Nations-assisted undertaking to safely and ecologically eliminate the country’s stockpiles of PCBs and PCB-contaminated wastes and materials at the Non-Com POPs Facility in Mariveles, Bataan through non-combustion process;

WHEREAS, united action among all concerned stakeholders (i.e. government, private entities, civil society organizations, and individuals) is necessary to bring about a more effective monitoring of PCBs and PCB-contaminated materials and used-oil toward their safe management and non-burn destruction at the Non-Com POPs Facility;

WHEREAS, during the 9th General Assembly of the EcoWaste Coalition, it has been resolved on 28 January 2009 that the Coalition shall “support the effective participation of civil society in the [Non-Com POPs Project]... to eliminate the [country’s] stockpiles of PCBs and PCBs-contaminated equipment [through non-combustion process]”.

Now, therefore, be it resolved that the EcoWaste Coalition adopt and support the establishment of Bantay PCBs, to bring about the needed participation of various sectors toward attaining a united action to complement the government’s efforts for the safe and ecological management and destruction of PCBs and PCB contaminated wastes, used-oil, and materials in the Philippines; and to further encourage other sectors to adopt and support the Bantay PCBs action points, namely,

1. Organize awareness raising activities about PCBs and the Non-Com POPs Project;

2. Report illegal handling, use/reuse, and recycling of PCBs and/or PCB-contaminated materials and used oil to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB);

3. Alert illegal PCB handlers that handling, recycling, reusing, or storing PCBs and PCB-contaminated materials and/or used oil are dangerous and are against the law.

4. Inform others about PCBs and the Non-Com POPs Project.

5. Enjoin the local government units to:

a. Pass ordinances toward the environmentally-sound management of all PCBs and PCB-contaminated materials in your locality, and in support of the Non-Com POPs Project.

b. Conduct regular monitoring of junkshops and other informal recyclers; transformer repair, reconditioning and retro-filling facilities; facilities dealing with used oil; and other suspected handlers of PCBs and PCB-contaminated materials and/or used oil to ensure that they comply with the law.

c. Ensure that all used oil from facilities dealing with used oil are PCB-free.

d. Require PCB-generators in your area to commit their PCB wastes to the Non-Com POPs Project for safe destruction.

6. Enjoin PCB-users/generators to:

a. Contact PNOC-AFC, the operator of the Non-Com POPs destruction facility, to avail of their services.

b. Ensure environmentally-sound management of their PCBs and PCB-contaminated materials as specified in the Code of Practice on the Management of PCBs and in the CCO for PCBs.

RESOLUTION DECLARED AND ADOPTED during the EcoWaste Coalition 11th General Assembly, 19 March 2011, in Quezon City.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

"Bantay PCBs" launched

Environmentalists led by “PCB Eliminator” launch a campaign dubbed as "Bantay PCBs" to promote the environmentally-sound management of toxic oily liquids known as polycholorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that are commonly found in old electric transformers. (Photo taken 19 March 2011, during EcoWaste Coalition's 11th General Assembly)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Environmentalists Vow to Monitor Illegal Recycling and Disposal of PCBs

In a bid to ensure safe management of obsolete electric transformers’ oils known as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), more than 50 civil society groups today launch a national campaign to ensure that none of the toxic materials will be disposed of illegally and jeopardize public health and safety.

Hailed as “Bantay PCBs,” the campaign aims to raise public awareness on PCBs, monitor any illegal handling of PCBs for reuse, recycling or disposal, and promote the environmentally-sound management of PCBs.

“PCBs are toxic to humans and wildlife. This will explain the resolute efforts, locally and globally, to prevent their damaging dispersal into the environment,” said Roy Alvarez, President, EcoWaste Coalition

“Through ‘Bantay PCBs,’ we intend to nip in the bud the threat of PCB-containing oil, equipment and waste being handled recklessly to the detriment of public health and the environment,” he added.

Information from the UN-backed PCBs Elimination Network (PEN), of which the EcoWaste Coalition and the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives are members, says that PCBs are a class of synthetic organic chemicals used for a variety of industrial uses, mainly as dielectric fluids in capacitors and transformers.

Adverse effects associated to the exposure to PCBs, according to PEN, include damage to the immune system, liver, skin, reproductive system, gastrointestinal tract and thyroid gland.

The unauthorized handling of PCBs, which can put the workers’ health at risk, is explicity banned under the Chemical Control Order for PCBs issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

To support entities in complying with the required elimination of their PCB stockpiles in a safe manner, the DENR in partnership with the private and public sectors is implementing a Non-Combustion POPs Project for PCBs (or the Non-Com POPs Project).

The project will see the operation of a non-incineration plant, in keeping with the incineration ban under the Clean Air Act, for destroying domestic stocks of PCBs, which are commonly found in power plants and industrial facilities.

The Non-Com POPs Project is managed by the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau with support from the Global Environment Facility and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. The facility, which is currently undergoing construction in Mariveles, Bataan, will be operated by the PNOC Alternative Fuels Corp.

Also participating in the Non-Com POPs Project are environmental health and justice groups such as the EcoWaste Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Ban Toxics, Health Care Without Harm, and Mother Earth Foundation.



PCBs Elimination Network (PEN):

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

8th PSC

Heads of and representatives from UNIDO-Vienna, UNIDO-Philippines, DENR-EMB, PNOC-AFC, EcoWaste Coalition, GAIA, IPM Construction, and DOH posed for a group picture after the 8th Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting that discussed the Non-Com POPs Project's progress. Photo taken on 25 February 2011.