May 22, 2024

The Insider News

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BAN Toxics urges FDA, DTI to review the 10-yr old RA 10620

IN celebration of Consumer Welfare Month, Toxic Watchdog group BAN Toxics urges the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Trade and Industry to review, assess and evaluate the 10-yr old Republic Act 10620 or the Toy and Game Safety Labeling Act of 2013 to ensure health and safety standards in the country.

The Presidential Proclamation No. 1098, declares the month of October of every year as consumer welfare month, in accordance with Republic Act No. 7394 otherwise known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines, to protect the interest of the consumer and promote its general welfare. 

It has been 10 years since the enactment of Republic Act No. 10620, also known as the Toy and Game Safety Labeling Law signed by then former President Benigno Aquino III.  The law recognizes that children, by reason of their physical and mental immaturity, need special safeguard and care. It acknowledges its obligation to secure the right of children to proper care and special protection from all forms of neglect and other conditions prejudicial to their development. The law shall ensure the protection of children against potential hazards to their health and safety by requiring special labeling of toys and games. 

Labeling Requirements for toys and games stated that, “All toys and games locally or internationally manufactured 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 (PNS) for the safety of toys.”

“We are dismayed that most of the toys and childcare articles (TCCAs) being sold in the local markets still lack the required labeling requirements under RA 10620. We need to review the said law to ensure product safety of the children,” said Thony Dizon, Toxics Campaigner of BAN Toxics.

“Now that the holiday season is near, we must enforce the law and conduct actions against toy manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers that violate the existing labeling requirements,” he added.  

Citing the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 10620, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) are the main regulatory agencies of the said law. The DOH-FDA with the assistance of the DTI shall lead the conduct of inspection, monitoring and surveillance of establishments, and collection of samples, in collaboration with other concerned government agencies to determine compliance with this Act and its IRR.

“Administrative action for violations of this Act and its IRR shall be subject to the provisions of RA No. 9711, otherwise known as the “Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Act of 2009. Covered products found to be in violation shall be seized or confiscated in favor of the government and shall be disposed of in accordance with the pertinent laws and regulations.”

Misbranded toys and games or banned hazardous substances shall be ordered for withdrawal from the market at the expense of the manufacturer or distributor (importer, exporter, wholesaler) and shall not be allowed to be distributed, sold or offered for sale in the Philippines according to the IRR of RA 10620.

“BAN Toxics calls the attention of the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Trade and Industry to initiate multi-stakeholders’ consultation to assess RA 10620 and determine gaps and ways forward on how to fully implement the law to protect and promote consumer’s rights to health and safety,” the group added. 

“Any person who shall violate any provision of this Act shall be subject to a fine of not less than Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) but not more than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) or imprisonment of not less than three (3) months but not more than two (2) years, or both, at the discretion of the court,” RA 10620 stated.