MANILA Advocacy groups EcoWaste Coalition, Laban Konsyumer Inc. and about 20 mothers petitioned the Quezon City Regional Trial Court to compel the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Health (DOH) to finally come up with the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the Toy and Game Safety Labeling Act of 2013 as soon as possible.
The DTI and the DOH are the agencies tasked with coming up with the IRR, EcoWaste Coalition adviser Manny Calonzo said.
"It's been five years since RA 10620's signing in 2013, but this law has no IRR yet," he noted, lamenting that the delay is putting the public at risk.
"That's why we're putting pressure on DTI and DOH to already issue the IRR," he stressed, citing the petition for a writ of mandamus.
In the meantime, the EcoWaste Coalition has advised consumers to be more cautious of the toys that they are buying, especially that Christmas time is near.
"We're advising consumers to exercise their right to information. Consumers must be inquisitive and secure from retailers all information about toys they're looking into, so they can make informed choices," Calonzo told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an earlier interview this week.
He said the toys might have hazardous parts and chemicals like lead, cadmium, and mercury that would adversely affect children's health.
He added many toys sold in markets nationwide don't have labels showing information about these and indicating that these passed the Food and Drug Administration inspection.
According to RA 10620, toys "that are imported, donated, distributed and sold in the Philippines shall comply with the appropriate
provisions on safety labeling and manufacturer's markings found in the Philippine National Standards for the safety of toys."
RA 10620 also provides that labels must "identify components, ingredients, attributes, directions for use, specifications, and such
other information as may be required by law or regulations."
"Any cautionary statement shall be displayed in its entirety on the principal display panel of the product's package and
on any descriptive material which accompanies the product," the law further states.
Non-compliant toys and games "shall be confiscated and forfeited in favor of the government and shall be disposed of in accordance with pertinent laws and regulation," it says.
The law requires the DTI to "regularly publish every six months, the list of all manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers who failed to comply with the requirements of this Act."
"DOH shall publish every six months, the list of all misbranded or banned hazardous substances the sale, offer for sale and distribution of which shall not be allowed under this Act," it also states.
"The legislative intent is to have toys properly labeled," Calonzo said. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency