Thursday, April 21, 2011

ഫിലിപ്പൈന്‍സിലെ ആക്ടിവിസ്റ്റുകള്‍ തയാറാക്കി അയച്ച കത്തിന്റെ കോപ്പി

11 April 2011

Civil Society Petition Letter for National and Global Ban on Endosulfan

11 April 2011

Hon. Proceso J. Alcala
Secretary, Department of Agriculture

Hon. Augusto C. Canlas
Director, Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority

Hon. Ramon J. P. Paje
Secretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Hon. Atty. Juan Miguel Cuna
Director, DENR-Environmental Management Bureau
Philippine Delegate, COP5, Stockholm Convention on POPs
Mr. Renato Cruz
Chief, Environmental Quality Division, DENR-Environmental Management Bureau
Philippine Delegate, COP5, Stockholm Convention on POPs
Mrs. Angelita Brabante
Chief, Chemicals Management Section, DENR-Environmental Management Bureau

Dear Secretary Alcala and Director Canlas,


We are writing with urgency to appeal to the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) to impose a national ban on endosulfan and to back a global ban of this highly hazardous organochlorine pesticide under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) of which the Republic of the Philippines is a party.

The national ban on endosulfan will bolster the “temporary ban” on its importation, distribution and use under Memorandum Circular 2009-02 issued by then Environment Secretary Jose L. Atienza “to protect the public health from any undesirable risks (and) hazards on the use of endosulfan.”

The global ban will be in concurrence with the recommendation made by the POPs Review Committee (POPRC) of the Stockholm Convention in October 2010 to add endosulfan, after a rigorous process for evaluating the said chemical, to Annex A of the treaty as a new POP for worldwide elimination.

The FPA, of which you are the Chair of the Board of Directors, is empowered by P.D. 1144 “to restrict or ban the use of any pesticide.. upon evidence that the pesticide is an imminent hazard, has caused, or is causing widespread serious damage to crops, fish or livestock, or to public health and environment.”

Copious assessments of the human health and ecological risks of endosulfan by governments, academics and citizens’ groups, including testimonies from pollution victims, have confirmed the toxic, bio-accumulative and persistent characteristics of endosulfan, providing the agency with a solid basis to act with resolve.

We therefore urge your office to please expedite a process that will lead to the adoption of the above two-fold policy in time for the upcoming fifth Conference of Parties (COP5) of the Stockholm Convention in Geneva, Switzerland on April 25-29, 2011.

The decision to ban endosulfan in the Philippines should be easy, non-contentious and defensible as the country has no registered use at all for endosulfan following the decision by Del Monte and Dole pineapple companies not to renew their license to import and use the highly toxic pesticide since 2008. The companies have shifted to alternative pesticides in the aftermath of the deadly M.V. Princess of the Stars maritime tragedy where some 10 metric tons of endosulfan also went down with the ill-fated passenger ship.

For your information, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in June 2010 announced its action to terminate all uses of endosulfan because it “poses unacceptable risks to agricultural workers and wildlife, and can persist in the environment.” Also, over 80 governments, including the state governments of Kerala and Karnataka in India, the 27-country European Union and the governments of Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea and Sri Lanka, have taken decisive steps to protect human health and the environment by phasing out and banning endosulfan.

We hope that through your wise and able leadership the Philippines will rise to this global public health and environmental challenge and join the community of nations towards "eliminating endosulfan from the face of the earth.”

Please send in your response through the EcoWaste Coalition at Unit 329, Eagle Court, 26 Matalino St., 1101 Quezon City (phone/fax: 4411846).

Thank you very much.

Sincerely yours,

Roy Alvarez, President, EcoWaste Coalition

Manny C. Calonzo, Co-Coordinator, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives

Dr. Romy Quijano, President, Pesticide Action Network-Philippines

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