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‘Regulate toxic toys’

A lawmaker from Mindanao has sought the regulation of importation, manufacture, sale and distribution of kids' toys, articles and school supplies laced with toxic and hazardous chemicals to protect children's health.

Rep. Anthony Del Rosario (Davao del Norte, 1st District) authored House Bill No. 62, to be known as the Safe and Nontoxic Children's Products Act, pursuant to Section 15 Article II of the Constitution which states that "the State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them."

Del Rosario filed the bill as he expressed alarm over the presence in the local market of children's toys, articles and school supplies, which contain toxic and hazardous substances that are dangerous to kids, a press release from Congress said.

The bill provides for the creation of the Children's Product Safety Council, the press release said.

He cited the result of the test conducted by the environmental watchdog EcoWaste Coalition in July 2011 using screening technology utilized by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Product Safety Commission in the United States of America.

The CPSC shall, among others, provide coordination and linkage mechanisms between and among its members, government agencies concerned, local government units, the private sector and other stake holders.

Violation against the provisions of the proposed Act shall be meted with suspension or revocation of license to operate, seizure of products and penalty of imprisonment ranging from one year but not more than 10 years or a fine of not less than P50,000 but not more than P500,000 or both at the discretion of the court.

If the offender is a manufacturer, importer or distributor of any product covered under the proposed act, the penalty shall be at least five-year imprisonment but not more than ten years and a fine of at least P500,000 but not more than P5 million, the press release said.

An additional fine of one percent of the economic cost of the violative product or violation or P1,000, whichever is higher, shall be imposed for each day of continuing violation.

If the offense is committed by a juridical person, the chairman of the Board of Directors, the president, general manager of the partners shall be penalized. If the offender is a foreign national, he shall be deported without proceedings after serving his sentence, the press release also said.*

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