MANILA, Philippines — A labor group has lauded the leadership in the House of Representatives for including a measure proposing a ban on the use of cancerous asbestos in the construction industry as one of the priority bills for the second term of the 15th Congress.
Associated Labor Unions (ALU) thanked House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., saying the passage of the bill would respond to the needs of about 1.3 million construction workers, who are exposed to asbestos in sanding, drilling, sawing, and cutting in the course of their daily work.
ALU National Vice President Gerard R. Seno also urged lawmakers to finally approve the Ban Asbestos Bill that seeks to ban the importation, manufacture, processing, use or distribution in commerce of asbestos and asbestos containing products.
“Once the bill becomes a law, then we can begin to actually reduce the exposure of vulnerable workers and their families. Aside from banning, the act calls for expert removal and proper disposal of asbestos,” Seno added.
TUCP party-list Rep. Raymond Democrito Mendoza authored House Bill No. 896, which has been pending on the second reading as it needs to be integrated along with another similar bill on the committee level before it is submitted to the Committee on Rules.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) confirmed that asbestos is highly carcinogenic as the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that around 89,000 people die every year after they were exposed to asbestos years ago worldwide. –RIO ROSE RIBAYA, Manila Bulletin