The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 11898, also known as the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Act of 2022, has been released by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on January 24, 2023 under DAO 2023-02. This law requires large-scale companies to establish a mechanism for the recovery of their plastic packaging. The IRR is very detailed. I have not really read it in full.
The DENR’s release of the IRR comes at a time when there is a change in leadership in the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB). Director William P. Cuñado and Assistant Director Vizminda A. Osorio were reassigned to the office of DENR Undersecretary Juan Miguel T. Cuña, apparently on floating status, while waiting for new assignments.
The position of EMB Assistant Director is important to the implementation of RA 11898 and its IRR, DAO 2023-02. The National Ecology Center (NEC) which was created under RA 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Law, will play a crucial role in the implementation of the EPR law. In RA 11898, the EMB Assistant Director is tasked to head the NEC.
The new OIC-EMB Assistant Director, Engr. Esperanza A. Sajul, is concurrently the Chief of the Environmental Impact Assessment and Management Division. By virtue of RA 11898, she will also be the head of the NEC. This means she will be handling three separate functions. There’s a lot of work at the NEC alone with the start of the full implementation of the EPR law. She needs all the support she can get for her to effectively handle all three assignments.
Good luck Engr. Sajul!
The drafting of the IRR underwent a series of public consultations in different regions from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Our group, the Environmental Practitioners’ Association, was invited in one of these gatherings. I was supposed to join but I had a prior schedule, so we sent other members who are experts in this topic.
According to the DENR, the consultation solicited insights and contributions from the different sectors including non-government organizations, academic institutions, local government units, and the private sector. Among the private sector representatives were sanitary landfill operators, manufacturing corporations, and recycling/upcycling companies.
The implementation of EPR law is a crucial step to the Philippines’ transition to the circular economy. In 2015, the Philippines was cited as the third largest contributor to ocean plastic, with approximately 0.75 million metric tons of plastic ending up in the seas and other waterways annually.
The DENR encourages those companies not covered by the law to practice voluntarily or be part of a network of obliged enterprises, collectives, or producer responsibility organizations that practice EPR.
February 03, 2023
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