With most schools opening in a few weeks, communities are pitching in for the annual Brigada Eswela clean up of classrooms.
EcoWaste Coalition exhorted the country’s public elementary and secondary schools to make lead safety part of the annual Brigada Eskwela scheduled on May 28 to June 2.
The waste and pollution watch group sent GNP guidelines for the Brigada Eswela to prepare safe schools for children:
- According to D.O. 4-2017, the use of independently certified lead-safe paints/coatings is mandatory to all painting and/or repainting works of school facilities, furniture, fixtures, learning materials and tools and equipment.
- The same D.O. also applies to paint-coated goods or products directly procured by the school as well as those sourced by other means such as through individual, group, corporate or local government donations.
- Department Order No. 64 details the minimum performance standards and specifications for DepEd school buildings. “Paints materials must be independently certified lead-safe paints/coatings,” according to the said order.
“We laud Education Secretary Briones for her steadfast commitment to promote a lead-safe school environment for Filipino children as contained in Department Orders 4 and 64, series of 2017. Strict compliance to these orders is crucial to stop the entry and use of lead-containing architectural, decorative and household (ADH) paints in all schools following the completion of the three-year phase-out for such paints last December 2016,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.
EcoWaste Coalition says the effective enforcement of these orders will also help in reducing the creation and dispersion of lead-tainted paint chip, dust and soil from the Brigada Eskwela school cleanup and renovation activities that children may ingest or inhale.
To drum up awareness and compliance to the ban on lead-containing ADH paints, the EcoWaste Coalition will distribute posters to Metro Manila schools announcing the phase-out of such paints.
During the week of the Brigada Eskwela, the EcoWaste Coalition will deploy a roving team targeting Quezon City schools to promote compliance to D.O. 4-2017