Four Metro Manila LGUs Lauded for Enforcing Ban on Health-Damaging Contraband Products

Four Metro Manila local
government units (LGUs) received a pat on the back from a watchdog group that
has been persistently monitoring the illegal trade of harmful contraband
products in the marketplace.
The EcoWaste Coalition gave the cities of Makati, Manila, Marikina and Pasay a
resounding thumbs up for their swift action to enforce the directives from the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banning unregistered cosmetics, household
insecticides and slimming products that pose imminent danger to human health.
The group last month sent separate reports to the offices of the mayors and the
offices of the city health offices of the four LGUs urging them to take action
to curb the sale of the banned imported products in bargain shopping malls,
public markets and other retail outlets in their areas.
“Hats off to these LGUs, particularly to their health officers and sanitation
inspectors, for implementing the law that led to the seizure of contraband
goods that continue to proliferate in the market despite being banned by our
health authorities,” said Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s
Project Protect.
“We hope that these LGUs will stay on guard against peddlers of these
health-damaging goods and severely punish the repeat offenders,” he said.
“With the LGUs on the frontline, we surely can make some headway in curbing the
rampant sale of smuggled goods that present a serious hazard to public health
and the environment,” he added.
In Makati, on the orders of Acting Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña, Jr., sanitary
inspectors from the Makati Health Department on August 14 seized close to 200
units of unregistered  beauty and
slimming products from  retailers in
Guadalupe Nuevo.  Among those
confiscated were Erna, Jiaoli and S’zitang skin whitening creams containing toxic
mercury.   According to
Mayor Peña “unregistered products,
especially those made of unknown ingredients and components, could pose danger
to the health and even the lives of people.”
In Manila, the
EcoWaste Coalition and the Manila Health Department on August 13 jointly
swooped down on Divisoria vendors selling unregistered insect sprays and
mosquito coils that are considered a menace to humans, as well as friendly
insects, seizing six boxes of the contraband insect killers.
The Marikina City Health Office reported to Mayor Del de Guzman on August 28
that based on the inspection conducted 25 retail outlets in five barangays were
found to be selling FDA-banned products.    City
Health Officer Alberto Herrera promised to conduct a surprise inspection  to ascertain the
vendors’ compliance, warning that stores found to be still in breach of the law
will be immediately closed and their business permits recommended for
In Pasay City, sanitation inspectors were deployed to check on retailers
at Baclaran and Libertad that the EcoWaste Coalition found to be selling items
with no product notification or registration from the FDA.
The EcoWaste Coalition pledged to continue its market monitoring for dangerous
products with the start of the “ber” months, noting the increased traffic of
smuggled goods as the Christmas holidays draw closer.