Pesticide ban still in effect – Fongwan-A A +A
Thursday, September 19, 2013
La Trinidad, Benguet – Governor Nestor Fongwan assured the ban on a herbicide used for suicide here is still in effect.
Fongwan is likewise alarmed at the escalating suicide statistics presented by the Benguet State University last week.
It was in 2009 when Fongwan asked the Fertilizer and Pest Authority (FPA) to probe and pull out a herbicide blamed for increasing suicides in the province.
The restricted herbicide, manufactured and distributed by Syngenta, had no known antidote and was behind 13 suicides in 2009 alone. “It is still banned here,” the governor stressed.
Fongwan said all interventions were made by the province to prevent the intake of the herbicide.
“Something should really be done.”
Farmers training and information dissemination drives were conducted then by the province in cooperation with Syngenta, manufacturer of the banned herbicide.
The company was willing to work with the province for the safety of the farmers unfortunately, the self-inflicted deaths persisted.
Likewise the disposal of empty pesticide containers here is being regulated to save more lives with an ordinance mandating proper collection and disposal of empty containers within the province.
Known as the Empty Pesticide Container Management ordinance, it involves the triple rinsing of empty containers by farmers themselves, collection and disposal by distributors, dealers and agrochemical companies in cooperation with the provincial government.
To be able to collect all empty pesticide containers the government is set to have collection centers within the province for the easy surrender of the receptacles by its users, barangay collection centers will be put up for farmers to bring the containers.
The governor said aside from the interventions, there are practices and beliefs in the province which should be taken in consideration. “We should follow all this tradition and customs,” Fongwan said. (Maria Elena Catajan)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 20, 2013.