/ 20 October 2020

NUEVA Vizcaya Rep. Luisa Lloren Cuaresma filed a bill that seeks to promote electronic waste management by establishing a donation and recycling program to provide additional resources for public school students.

In pushing House Bill 7876 or the proposed Electronics Donation and Recycling Act, Cuaresma cited the study conducted by engineers from the University of the Philippines that by 2021, the number of discarded phones will reach over 24.9 million.

“This means that Filipinos are throwing out their gadgets despite not being totally unusable and not being beyond their estimated useful life. Some of this electronic waste may not even be waste at all,” Cuaresma said in her explanatory note.

She also cited the recent study of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies that revealed that only 69 percent of poor households have mobile phones while one percent and six percent of poor and low-income families have computers, respectively.

“With the shift to remote learning due to Covid19 pandemic, this digital divide is rendered more evident,” the lawmaker said. She shared that in the National Capital Region, 648,405 public school students lack gadgets while 13 percent of teachers have no laptops or computers.

Under the bill, manufacturers and retailers of electronic gadgets are mandated to establish or set up donation and recycling booths in their sales outlets, stores, service centers and similar locations.

Gadgets that are still usable will be given to poor students while those for recycling shall be turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-accredited facilities capable of recycling electronic gadgets and components.

A similar bill was filed at the Senate by Senator Lito Lapid.