A PARTY-LIST legislator representing organized labor has filed a bill seeking to ban the use of asbestos in most construction applications.
TUCP Partylist Rep. Raymond C. Mendoza filed House Bill No. 2636, which if passed will become the Ban Asbestos Act of 2019, in a bid to protect from asbestos exposure shipbuilders, construction workers, plumbers, electricians and auto workers, among others.
The bill will authorize the Department of Health and members of an inter-agency council to propose regulations prohibiting asbestos imports, manufacturing, processing, use, or distribution for commercial purposes.
The Health department may grant exemptions to the Department of National Defense; if there are no reasonable alternatives to any asbestos-containing product; if the use of such a product will do no environmental or health damage; and the use of such products otherwise complies with other regulations.
The measure would also allow anyone to file charges for any damage or harm due to violation of the proposed law.
The bill proposes to penalize violators with a fine of between P100,000 and P1 million and/or imprisonment of three months to three years.
The current rules in force are outlined in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Administrative Order 2000-02 dated Jan. 6, 2000, limiting the use of asbestos. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras