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BAN Toxics celebrates their 16th founding anniversary

BAN Toxics 16th founding anniversary

QUEZON CITY, October 11 — Environmental Watchdog and Non-Government Organization BAN toxics kicked off a month-long celebration of their 16th founding anniversary with public events commemorating Consumer Welfare Month (CWM) 2022 throughout the entire month of October.

Founded in 2006, BAN Toxics was established to respond to urgent waste issues plaguing the Philippines. he organization was founded by public interest lawyer Richard Gutierrez whose work with US-based Basel Action Network (BAN), a campaigning organization dedicated to ending toxic waste trade, compelled him to form a similar organization based in the global south which was at the receiving end of the trade in hazardous wastes.

In their 16th founding anniversary, the organization has laid out public events in accordance with the CWM.

“We planned a month-long anniversary celebration devoted to the welfare and protection of Filipino consumers, as well as the environment. We want our organization to serve as a venue for educating consumers to become more vigilant shoppers, especially as the holiday season approaches, especially when Christmas is just around the corner,” said Reynaldo San Juan, Executive Director of BAN Toxics.

Last Sunday, October 9, the organization concluded a ‘Toxic Toy Clinic’ in San Antonio Elementary School in Quezon City, warning parents about the toxic chemicals that toys might contain. In addition, toys brought by the students were also tested during the event for possible chemical content.

“This is a good start of our anniversary celebration, we really want to help the people to know more better, to become better consumers, [yes, the price matters, but we should also mind that our children’s health should always come first] Oo nga, mas maganda pag mura, pero mas mahalaga pa din isipin natin ang ating kaligtasan,” BAN Toxics Toxic Campaigner Thony Dizon said in an interview during the event.

As part of their anniversary celebration, the organization will conduct a series of webinars in the coming weeks on topics that are still relevant to the CWM. This October 14, BAN Toxics will be staging a webinar on consumer safety and protection from toxic chemical threats and e-wastes, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB).

Augusto Cunanan, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of BAN Toxics, sent a message for the organization’s anniversary. “Ayon sa diwa ng mga pantas: ‘Ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan, hindi makararating sa paroroonan!’ Labing-anim na taon ang nililingon ngayon ng BAN Toxics, sapagkat may bukas siyang nais maabot: isang mundong malinis at malusog.

Pagpupugay sa mga kabahagi ng lumipas! Pasasalamat sa mga kaakbay hanggang bukas! Arriba BAN Toxics!”

Dr. Charlie Brown, founder of World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry (WAMFD), expressed his support for the organization. “BAN Toxics is a leading force in the Philippines, in Asia, and the world for a healthy environment and for healthy children. The World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry salutes this outstanding NGO for its 16 years of many achievements to promote the public interest,” he said. WAMFD has been a long time partner of BAN Toxics in the fight against the use of mercury-added amalgams for dental restorative procedures.

“Pressenza International Press Agency commends BAN Toxics on its 16th founding anniversary for continuously working towards a toxics-free and waste-free country, working for the health and welfare of children, women, and the consuming public. Because of its commitment and dedication in campaigning for a toxics-free world working for the advancement of environmental justice, health, and sustainable development in the area of chemicals and wastes, advocating sound policies empowering communities. BAN Toxics is one of the many partners of Pressenza worldwide, an independent international press agency that serves as a voice and a platform for suporting grassroots efforts that contribute towards building a just, peaceful, non- discriminatory and non-violent world… and more humane world for all,” said Karina Lagdameo Santillan, editor at Pressenza International News Agency.

IPEN’s Regional Coordinator for Southeast and East Asia, Chinkie Peliño-Golle, also expressed her gratitude to BAN Toxics. “My heartiest congratulations to the BAN Toxics family as you celebrate your 16th founding anniversary! Thank you for your continuing dedication, commitment, and hard work in advancing toxics-free schools and communities in the Philippines and beyond. My sincere thanks for your active participation and contribution to the IPEN SEA meetings and activities. All your hard work and efforts in protecting the people and the environment from toxic chemicals are greatly appreciated. I wish you all the best and more success in the upcoming future. Padayon!”

“Congratulations BAN Toxics for your 16th anniversary! You have been our invaluable partner in the fight for zero mercury and toxic free environment, and a long-standing, key, successful, advocacy player and watchdog in the Philippines and region. Keep up the good work and our fruitful cooperation!” Elena Lymberidi said. Elena is the project manager of the Zero Mercury Campaign of the European Environmental Bureau (EEB).

Geri-Geronimo Sañez, Chief of the Hazardous Waste Management Section of EMB, also sent his message of support to BAN Toxics. “To our most efficient, hardworking, and supportive civil society partner and friend, congratulations on your 16th Founding Anniversary. May you have more fruitful and meaningful years to come as our partner in implementing programs and protecting human health and environmental protection. Again, congratulations,” he exclaimed.

Mr. Michael Yanga, President of BAN Toxics’ long time partner academic institution, Dr. Yanga’s Colleges Inc., also relayed his message. “To the BAN Toxics community, a blessed anniversary and the Dr. Yanga’s Colleges Inc. will always be supportive to your endeavors. We are grateful to be partners in this basic but ambitious and meaningful goal to make our environment better. God bless to all the people behind BAN Toxics,” he said.

To express their gratitude for the help of BAN Toxics to the artisanal and small-scale mining sector in the Philippines, small-scale mining association in Camarines Norte SAMACANO wrote a short poem.

Happy 16th Anniversary Ban Toxics! 

Taon man ang lumipas, 
Gabay nyo’y di kumukupas, 
Turo’t aral ay di mawawaglit, 
Abutin man kami ng pusikit.

Sumusuong kahit mapanganib, 
Para sa amiy mapahatid, 
Giyagis man inyong pawis, 
Tuloy pa rin sa ninanais.

Salamat Ban Toxics, 
Ambag nyo’y di mapapanis, 
Hinain nyong malugod 
Patuloy naming itataguyod.

Kaya mula sa SAMACANO, 
Pagbati sa inyong Anibersaryo! 
Pagsasama tang maluwat. 
Tagumpay ang iniangat!

“We invite everyone to celebrate this with us, we highly encourage all to participate in our events this month and in the future,” San Juan said.

“Sixteen years is not long enough. Our work as an organization advocating for environmental justice and human rights will prolong. We will continue to pursue our goal and advocacy in the following years to come,” he added.

BAN Toxics
BAN Toxics is an environmental organization that works for the advancement of environmental justice, health, and sustainable development in the area of chemicals and wastes, with a special focus on women, children, and other marginalized sectors.