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Electronics exporters seek copper standard review

The electronics industry is asking the Environment department for an analysis of its wastewater guidelines that set parameters on copper produced by the industry. 

Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc. (SEIPI) President Danilo C. Lachica said  the group has submitted a position paper requesting for a cost-benefit analysis from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). 

“The biggest concern for our industry is the tightened copper standard from one PPM or milligram per liter of total copper to 0.04 PPM of dissolved copper,” he said at the group’s general membership meeting on Friday. 

“This overly tight standard is only comparable to Thailand’s drinking water and not treated industrial effluence.” 

The DENR’s general effluent standards, or standards related to liquid waste discharged into rivers or seas, sets parameters for the concentrations of copper released into water.  

The standards were issued to preserve the country’s fresh, brackish, and marine waters by preventing water pollution. 

According to Mr. Lachica’s presentation, revised effluence guidelines are awaiting signature from the Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu. He said that the industry continues to await the department’s response on the matter. 

The cost-benefit analysis, Mr. Lachica said in a Viber message, would help establish the viability of the standard set in 2016. 

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said at the same meeting that he is in talks with the DENR on the issue. 

“We are just waiting for their response. We are helping you on that one,” he said. 

DENR through its Laguna Lake Development Authority unit recently issued cease and desist orders to several departments for releasing wastewater into Manila Bay. 

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the Philippine Navy were all found to have failed to meet the effluent standards after water inspections at the bay. 

The electronics exports industry is retaining its 7% growth target for 2021, SEIPI Chairman Glenn Everett said. 

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