Since last year, environmental group EcoWaste Coalition has been urging the Philippine government to stop importing electronic waste amid the rise of global e-waste production and of gadget use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the administrative order 2013-22 of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), plastic, scrap metals, electronic wastes and other materials designated as recyclable materials by the Environmental Management Bureau are still allowed to be imported to the country. A draft to revise the administrative order is underway but with no official release date.
According to the EcoWaste Coalition, a developing country like the Philippines may end up flooding its ports with e-waste if it continues to accept electronic junk. As much as 53.6 million tonnes of e-waste were produced in 2019, an amount that may reach 74.7 million tonnes by 2030, per the United Nation report called Global E-waste Monitor 2020.
Electronic wastes also pose health concerns. The UN report further noted that developing countries lack the necessary infrastructure to handle e-waste safely, severely affecting workers and children in exposed environments.
EcoWaste Coalition believes revisions to the DENR order and relevant laws such as the Basel Ban Amendment will lead to clean production and environmental accountability.