DTI pays Mandaue recycler to handle P200T worth of substandard lights

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014


THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7 disposed last week of substandard Christmas lights that had been confiscated from some establishments in Cebu in the last three years.

Rosemae Quiñanola, chief of the Consumer Welfare and Business Regulatory Division (CWBRD) of DTI 7, said a total of 2,172 sets of substandard Christmas lights worth P200,000 were rounded up from eight retail establishments in Cebu.

“We needed to dispose of those Christmas lights as mandated by law,” she said.

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The products were crushed in the Maritrans Recycler Inc., a recycling firm in Mandaue City.

Quiñanola said the establishments that sold the uncertified products were fined not more than P150,000, under Department Administrative Order No. 5, issued in 2008.

Under the DTI-Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) Product Certification Scheme that is based on that department order, all distributors of Christmas lights must acquire an Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) before introducing their products to the local market.

The BPS issues Philippine Standard (PS) licenses and ICC certificates to manufacturers and importers of products who successfully complied with Philippine National Standards. Covered products include electrical items.

The DTI 7 believes that activities like the disposal of confiscated lights enhances consumer welfare by prohibiting the sale of substandard products, and encourages consumers to buy safe and quality products.

“Buy standard and DTI-approved products in order to avoid short circuits at home,” Quiñanola added.

It took nearly three years before the lights could be disposed of, because the matter had to go through the courts.

DTI 7 paid less than P10,000 for the disposal. The materials can be used again and the process did not emit hazardous wastes.

“Before starting the process, bulbs are separated from the wires since different machinery need to be used,” said MRI marketing executive Mary Jane Masbang.

“The detached wires will go into a cable recycling machine. This will crush the waste copper wire and separate the copper from the insulator or cover,” Masbang explained.

Copper bits the size of rice grains are then processed further, to create new wires.

However, MRI Pollution Control Officer Teddylyn Reyes said the bulbs cannot be recycled due to the presence of mercury.

“What we are going to do is to directly dispose of it using the ‘bulb eater’ machine.

First, the machine will crush and grind the waste bulb. Next, it will capture the vapors, which consist of tiny particles of mercury. Then, we will seal and secure it properly and lastly, bury it in an industrial engineering land field,” she explained. (Darlene M. de Paz, CNU Comm Intern)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 14, 2014.

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