TOXIC SUBSTANCES MANAGEMENT 

Monitoring and Enforcement

A total of one hundred sixty (160) industrial firms with CCO registrations for Cyanide, Mercury, Lead, Asbestos and PCB containing materials were monitored for the first and second quarter of 2020 within CALABARZON as presented in Table 3.

The highest numbers came from the Province of Cavite and Laguna with a total of sixty-four (64) and sixty-two (62) firms corresponding to 40% and 38.75% of total number of firms respectively.

Only Twenty-five (25) establishments were monitored from Batangas which is equivalent to 15.63%. The fewest number of monitoring of toxic chemicals came from the Rizal and Quezon with six (5) and four (4) which is equivalent to 3.12% and 2.5% respectively.

All establishments were compliant with the implementing rules and regulations regarding chemical management.

Table 3. Number of firms inspected per province with CCO registrations

PROVINCE ANNUAL TARGET NO. OF FIRMS INSPECTED PERCENTAGE
CAVITE 94 64 68
LAGUNA 94 62 66
BATANGAS 25 25 100
RIZAL 3 5 167
QUEZON 4 4 100
TOTAL 220 160 73

 

Table 4. Firms with CCO Surveyed and Monitored

Activity Target No. of Firms Inspected Percent Accomplished
CCO Surveyed  5 8 160%
CCO Monitored 110 160 145.45%

 

HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT

Industrialization resulted in generation of industrial wastes, including hazardous wastes that require management to prevent or minimize risks to the environment and public health. As such, Title III of RA 6969 was mainly designed to respond to increasing problems associated with toxic chemicals and hazardous and nuclear wastes. It provides systems and procedures for proper hazardous wastes management for regulator and regulated communities.

To effectively manage and handle hazardous wastes, the DENR requires the following:

  • Waste generators to register and report the type and quality of waste generated, treated or transported outside the plant;
  • Waste generators to use waste transporters and treaters duly authorized by DENR;
  • Waste transporters to secure permits from DENR before transporting any quantity of hazardous wastes; and
  • Waste generators, transporters, and treaters to keep records and to submit report to DENR on the transport of wastes from the point of generation to its final storage, export, treatment, and disposal points, among others.

Monitoring and Enforcement 

For the survey of hazardous wastes generators, this Office was able to accomplish a total of one hundred sixty (160) firms out of one hundred ninety-eight (198) annual target with an equivalent percentage of 81%.

A total of one thousand one hundred one (1,101) registered hazardous waste generators within CALABARZON were monitored to validate the facility’s compliance with the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Toxic Chemicals and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Control Act RA 6969 for the first and second quarter of 2020.

The highest number of monitored establishments came from the province of Laguna with a total of three  hundred ninety-eight (398) firms which is equivalent to 65% of total firms inspected from January to June followed by Batangas with 55% corresponding to two hundred and twenty-seven (227) firms and Cavite that has two hundred ten (210) registered hazardous waste generators.

     Table 7. Number of hazardous waste generators inspected per province

PROVINCE Annual Target No. of firms inspected Percentage

(%)

CAVITE 553 210 38
LAGUNA 617 398 65
BATANGAS 411 227 55
RIZAL 295 160 54
QUEZON 194 106 55
TOTAL 2070 1101 53

 

As can be noted in the table above, few firms were surveyed in the Provinces of Rizal and Quezon. Each province has different set of targets dependent on the number of technical staff present at the PEMU as well as the number of registered hazardous wastes generators.

Only one generator from Batangas was issued with Notice of Violation and invited for a Technical Conference to justify the findings stated in the inspection of the personnel of this Office.

Generally, the Region has exceeded the 50% target for the first semester despite the presence of COVID-19 pandemic.

        Table 8. Firms Monitored / Surveyed

Firms Annual Target No. of Firms Inspected Percentage (%)
TSD Monitored 27 19 70
Transporter Monitored 40 10 25
HW Generator Surveyed 198 160   81

 

A total of nineteen (19) TSD facilities within CALABARZON were monitored for the first and second quarter of the year. The highest number of TSD inspected came from the Province of Cavite and Laguna with eleven (11) and five (5). from January to June. Province of Batangas and Rizal have one (1) and two (2) TSD monitored, respectively. No TSD inspected for the province of Quezon as of June 2020.

Only one (1) TSD from Cavite was issued with Notice of Violation and invited for a Technical Conference to justify the findings stated in the inspection of the personnel of this Office.

     Table 9. TSD facilities and Transporter applied for renewal of registration certificate

PROVINCE No. of TSD inspected No. of Transporter inspected
CAVITE 11 9
LAGUNA 5 13
BATANGAS 2 2
RIZAL 2 0
QUEZON 0 0
TOTAL 20 24

 

Capability Building / IEC

Series of trainings on Environmental Management and Environmental Regulations were held in the first Quarter of 2020. Personnel from this Office were invited by Recognized Training Organizations as resource persons or speakers in the conduct of Pollution Control Officers (PCOs) training to discuss thoroughly the salient features of RA 6969 up to more detailed information/concept that is essential for the proper management of chemicals and hazardous wastes in the industries. However, on the second quarter of 2020, there were no to limited trainings were done since gatherings are prohibited during ECQ and GCQ.

To further disseminate information, this Office provides infographics and podcasts to further inform, circulate and share information through social media platforms.

 

Challenges (Issues/Concerns)

            It is apparent that implementation and monitoring of compliance of each establishment is quite challenging especially those with very minimal and outdated training on Environmental Laws.

Below are the challenges encountered in the implementation of RA6969:

  • Information Dissemination (Best Available Technologies for treatment of Hazardous Waste and On-Line Applications for Hazardous Waste Generators, Transporter, TSD Facilities, SQI, CCO Application, and the likes);
  • Familiarization with the new system of IIS and online HWMS for processing of HW Generators, Transporters and TSD facilities;
  • Mobility and Accessibility. Monitoring of establishments in areas that are high risk due to COVID-19 Pandemic; and
  • Some of the firms are still adjusting in the shift to paperless in the submission of application for permits and some of the establishments lack internet access. Also, the system is not perfect and exposed to technical glitch or error.

 

STRATEGIES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS

  • This Office provides infographics and podcasts to further inform, circulate and share information through social media platforms.;
  • Operationalization of online Hazardous Waste Management System to provide undisrupted services relative to RA 6969;
  • Online banking was made available for the payment of permits;
  • Provision of mobile number which serves as hotline to assist the client with regard to Chemicals and Hazardous Waste Management concerns and
  • Conduct of trainings/webinars in the use of new online system not just for EMB personnel but for firms and establishments.

 

PROVINCIAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT UNITS

The Provincial Environmental Management Units (PEMUs) are the alter-ego of the Regional Office in all provinces. Each PEMU is headed by a Provincial Environmental Management Officer (PEMO) with technical staff and the SWEET-ENMOs. Number of personnel varies in each province.

Primary functions of PEMUs are survey and monitoring of firms, investigation of complaints and assessment/monitoring of SWM facilities. Reports generated after field works are forwarded to the Regional Office for further action. They also represent the Regional Director in some meetings or conferences.

 

CHALLENGES (ISSUES AND CONCERNS)

  1. Difficulty in the conduct of monitoring and investigation:
  • The technical personnel of this Office could not conduct face to face on site monitoring and investigation in some project complaints in compliance with IATF Protocol.
  • Even under MGCQ, PEMUs could not yet conduct regular, actual, on site monitoring of projects/ industries to check compliance to environmental laws, rules and regulations. This is due to public transport limitations, safety requirements and strict entry regulations on private industries.
  • In general, the high risks COVID 19 infection of technical personnel going out in the field could create anxieties in the performance of their work, especially to those in the vulnerable sectors (Senior citizens, pregnant women and those with pre-existing conditions).
  1. Clients/complainants cannot be prevented from coming to our office

 

STRATEGIES:

  1. To ensure immediate conduct of on-site investigation on complaints received by the Office, the assigned EnMOS are tasked to gather data based on the technical personnel instructions. These technical personnel make the necessary coordination with the LGUs;
  2. Close coordination with LGU MENROS and CENROS are being done considering the proximity of the projects in their areas;
  3. Regular Monitoring of the ENMOS and on-line monitoring of the technical personnel to ensure the performance of their targets;
  4. Strict submission of investigation reports of the technical personnel within 72 hours;
  5. Adoption of WFH and skeleton force thru on-line attendance to ensure the continuity of service;
  6. All Technical Personnel and EnMOS of the Office are provided with complete PPEs to ensure their safety especially when they are on fieldwork;
  7. Disinfectant installed at the office entrance; and
  8. Have a thermal scanner in the Office. All employees/visitors are tested prior entry to PEMU Office

 

IMPLEMENTATION OF TOXIC SUBSTANCES AND HAZARDOUS WASTES MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS

It has been stated as the basic policy under R.A. 6969 that “the State shall regulate, restrict or prohibit the importation, manufacture, processing, sale distribution use and disposal of chemical substances and mixtures that present unreasonable risk and/or injury to health or the environment; to prohibit the entry, even in transit, of hazardous and nuclear wastes and their disposal in the Philippine territorial limits for whatever purpose.” as such, CHWMS CALABARZON aims to streamline the existing rules and regulations of Chemical and Hazardous Waste Management to continuously monitor the importation, distribution, use, generation, transport, treatment, storage and up to the disposal of chemicals and hazardous wastes; in order to avoid any possible environmental contamination and unreasonable human health risk.

Presented in this report are the detailed discussions of the accomplishments of the section covering the months of January to June 2020. It includes the issuance of permits which is comprised of Importation Clearances for Chemicals, Hazardous Wastes Generator registration and Transport Permits for the movement of hazardous wastes.

This report also covers the information on the monitoring and survey of firms and establishments such as chemical importers, distributors and end-users, hazardous wastes generators, healthcare facilities, TSD facilities and Transporters to ensure their compliance to the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 6969.

Since March of 2018, Online Permitting and Monitoring System (OPMS) was implemented for the application and processing for Chemical Control Order (CCO) registration, Importation Clearance (CCO-IC) and Small Quantity Importation (SQI). However, August of the same year, Online Hazardous Waste Manifest System and PCB Online was indefinitely suspended by the EMB Director subject for upgrading of the online system as well as to address some technical issues. Therefore, all application relevant to Hazardous Waste Management reverted to manual processing.

Meanwhile, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) was declared in the whole Island of Luzon on March 17, 2020. Processing of manual applications was made online and thru posted email addresses which were made accessible to clients. This is to provide continuous operation and management of transactions relative to Chemical and Hazardous Waste Management within the CALABARZON Region.

To address the radical increase of generation of healthcare wastes due to the recent pandemic as well as existing industrial wastes from the companies, the following Memorandum Circulars were issued:

  • EMB MC 2020-014: Interim Guidelines on Issuance of Special Permit to Transport (SPTT) for the Transport of Hazardous Waste within the Community Quarantine Period;
  • EMB MC 2020-015: Addendum to the Interim Guidelines on Issuance of Special Permit to Transport (SPTT) for the Transportation of Hazardous Wastes within the Community Quarantine Period; and
  • EMB MC 2020-016: Amendment of the Interim Guidelines on Issuance of Special Permit to Transport (SPTT) for the Transportation of Hazardous Wastes within the Community Quarantine Period was issued to address the concern for the transport and treatment of hazardous wastes other than healthcare wastes. Detailed information on the issuance of SPTT will be discussed in the succeeding sections.

Moreover, pursuant to the implementation of the Extended Enhanced Community Quarantine over the selected regions and provinces EMB MC 2020-020: Provisional Guidelines on the Hazardous Wastes Management during the Extended Enhanced Community Quarantine Period was issued to extend the issuance of special permit to transport.

Operationalization of the Online Hazardous Waste Management System (HWMS) has started effective June 1, 2020. As such all transactions with regards to hazardous wastes management shall be made through https://hwms.emb.gov.ph. The system requires prior company profile registration thru https://iis.emb.gov.ph/crs to generate company reference id.