Toxic leak blamed for foul stench in Pasay


Posted at Jan 10 2012 11:11 PM | Updated as of Jan 11 2012 07:11 AM

MANILA, Philippines – An environmental group urged the government Tuesday to establish a pollution disclosure system that would make it mandatory for facilities to publicly disclose all hazardous chemicals that they handle, store, transfer and dispose.

"A pollution disclosure system is needed if we are to respect the public's right-to-know about toxic discharges into our environment," said Beau Baconguis, toxics campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, in a press statement.

"Such a system would enable government regulators to immediately identify the chemical substances involved and the culprits in chemical pills. It would speed up medical treatment in cases of human exposure and allows nearby establishment to better prepare and protect themselves from future chemical leaks. More importantly, it drives to cut the use of toxic chemicals and make a shift towards cleaner production process," she added.

The plea came a day after officials of a Pasay high school were forced to suspend classes due to a foul odor.

The smell triggered nausea for some of the students of Kalayaan High School in Barangay 201, Kalayaan Village in Pasay City.

Authorities have yet to identify the source of the leak.

Greenpeace is also in support of a bill seeking to establish a Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) or SB 308.

The bill, which was filed at the Senate on December 12 by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, aims to help reduce pollution from hazardous chemicals.