‘Green, Green, Green’ project backed by eco group

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The program aims to make cities more livable.         CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

A cause-oriented organization urged yesterday the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to ensure that government projects under the P2.5 billion “Green, Green, Green” program only use paints with no added lead, a toxic chemical.

Through a letter sent yesterday to DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno, the EcoWaste Coalition welcomed the government program to make the country’s 145 cities “more livable, sustainable, and well connected through the development or enhancement of public open spaces.”

According to the group, the “Green, Green, Green” program fits well with UN’s Sustainable Development Goals on “Sustainable Cities and Communities.”

It also corresponds with one of their goal targets to provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities.

“As some of the projects being proposed for funding under this program may include painting or repainting jobs, we strongly suggest that the mandatory procurement and use of lead-safe paints as verified through third-party certification be included in the evaluation and approval of project proposals received from applicant cities,” said Eileen Sison, President of EcoWaste Coalition.

“The use of lead-safe paints should be duly included by the DBM in the criteria for truly ‘green’ open space development or enhancement projects by our cities,” she added.

Specifying the compulsory procurement and use of certified lead-safe paints will ensure that only paints with no added lead will be used to decorate fences and gates, playground equipment, tables, chairs and benches, recreational facilities, signages, structures, particularly in parks and plazas where children often go for rest and leisure, the group said.

The group said that such a requirement will be in sync with DENR A.O. 2013-24 phasing out lead-added paints used for architectural, household and decorative applications on 31 December 2016.

It will also be in line with DILG Memorandum Circular 2018-26 enjoining local government units (LGUs) to “support the phase-out of lead-containing paints and eventually reduce the hazards and risks posed by such paints to human health.”