Government, industry and civil society groups lauded the shortlisting of the country’s landmark lead paint regulation for the Future Policy Award 2021 (FPA 2021) by the World Future Council (WFC). The 12 shortlisted policies from a total of 55 nominated policies from 36 countries were announced today. The winning policies will be revealed in a virtual award ceremony on July 6 this year.
Dubbed as the “Oscar on best policies,” FPA is the first and only award that celebrates policies for the benefit of present and future generations on an international level. This year’s FPA puts the spotlight on the most effective policy solutions that minimise the adverse effects of exposure to chemicals on human health and the environment. Among the shortlisted policies is the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Administrative Order 2013-24, also known as the Chemical Control Order for Lead and Lead Compounds (CCO), which bans the use of lead in the production of paints and other processes, including the manufacture of toys, school supplies, cosmetics and food contact packaging materials.
The CCO imposes a total maximum lead content of 90 parts per million (ppm) for all paints and sets a phase out period for lead-containing architectural, household and decorative paints (2013-2016) and lead-containing industrial paints (2013-2019).
Below is an overview of the policy as summarised by the WFC: “With the CCO, the Philippines became the first south east Asian country to successfully implement legislation towards lead-safe paint. The policy’s objective is to increase awareness of the toxicity of lead exposure and to provide safer alternatives to protect the health of the population and the environment. It comprises a roadmap with clear definitions, phase-out plans and decisive instruments with special attention to children. The CCO combines a collaborative top-down and bottom-up strategy with successful implementation. While globally only a few countries have enacted comprehensive bans on the use of lead additives in all paints, the Philippines demonstrate that it is entirely possible to restrict the use of lead in all paints to the maximum limit of 90ppm, including in industrial paints, which generally have lead concentrations that are up to 10 times higher. By 2020, the local industry had beaten the phase-out deadline for lead paints with a total of 1395 paint products certified through the new Lead Safe Paint® Certification programme.”
“We are deeply honoured to have been nominated and subsequently shortlisted for the FPA 2021 as the global award recognises a groundbreaking policy that our government had promulgated with vigorous support from our paint industry and civil society partners to protect vulnerable populations, particularly children, women and workers, from the harmful effects of lead exposure,” said Atty. Juan Miguel Cuna, DENR Undersecretary for Field Operations and Environment, who was then the director of the Environmental Management Bureau when the CCO was being deliberated.
“We consider the CCO’s shortlisting for the FPA 2021 as a high point in the industry-wide transition to lead-safe paint production made possible by the promulgation of a mandatory policy that was developed with the participation of paint manufacturers, raw materials suppliers, environmental health activists and government regulators. Local paint makers have now switched to non-leaded ingredients for pigments, driers and rust inhibitors, indicating the doability and viability of making the shift,” said Derrick Tan, President, Philippine Association of Paint Manufacturers (PAPM).
“The shortlisting of the CCO for FPA 2021 is a testament to our country’s resolve to protect children’s health from preventable sources of lead poisoning, such as lead in paint, dust and soil, which can seriously affect a child’s growth and development, including causing intellectual impairments and behavioural issues,” said Manny Calonzo, Adviser for the Lead Paint Elimination Campaign of the EcoWaste Coalition and the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN). “This shared achievement should inspire all sectors to sustain the monitoring of compliance to the CCO and related regulations and to the adoption of further measures that will, for example, address ‘legacy paint’ or lead paint applied in the past, especially in homes, schools, playgrounds and other places frequented by children.”
"The shortlisting of the lead paint regulations of the Philippines and Ethiopia, which were both developed with the essential input and participation of various sectors, including environmental health NGOs, highlights the need for countries to enact and enforce strong laws banning lead in all paints to safeguard children's health," said Sara Brosche, Science Advisor and Manager of IPEN Global Lead Paint Elimination Campaign. "IPEN is privileged to have collaborated with the EcoWaste Coalition and Pesticide Action Nexus-Ethiopia in building support for the adoption of exemplary lead paints laws in their respective countries."
Nominated policies to the FPA are judged based on the 7 Principles of Future-Just Lawmaking, which are derived from the seven principles for sustainable development law adopted by 192 states at the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development. Among the members of the jury for the FPA 2021 is Dr. Marcos Orellana, UN Special Rapporteur on Toxics and Human Rights, who said “effective and innovative laws and policies for the sound management of chemicals and wastes are indispensable to secure a toxic-free environment for all.”
“Every day our rights are violated by the exposure to toxic chemicals and pollution. Especially children are disproportionally affected,” stated Alexandra Wandel, Executive Director, WFC. “For the sake of current and future generations, it is absolutely critical that stakeholders make the protection from hazardous chemicals a priority. We are very much looking forward to bring effective policies in this field to a world stage.”
The FPA is awarded by the WFC and is organised this year in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), International Labour Organisation (ILO), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Launched in 2007, the WFC is composed of eminent global change-makers working for a healthy and sustainable planet with just and peaceful societies. It is based in Hamburg, Germany.