Press Release
June 5, 2013

Senate passes toy and game labeling act of 2012

The Senate today passed on third and final reading a bill which seeks to protect children against toy related injuries.

Senate Bill No. 3367, under Committee Report 525, otherwise known as the Toy and Game Safety Labeling Act of 2012, requires toy manufacturers to prominently display an advisory such as "Warning: Choking Hazard" on the packaging of toys containing hazardous materials. The bill was authored by Senators Manny Villar and Miriam Defensor Santiago.

"It is our duty as government officials to safeguard the health of the people. As parents, it is also our duty to ensure that our children get the best care and protection against all kinds of risk, and this includes the protection of our children against toys considered hazardous, especially those that may or may not contain toxic materials," Villar, chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade and Commerce, said.

The proposed measure also requires the labeling of substances or mixture of substances which are considered toxic, corrosive, irritant, a strong sensitizer, flammable or combustible, or generates pressure through decomposition, heat or other means.

The substances, according to Villar, are usually the cause of injury or illness among children who accidentally ingest toy parts such as magnets, screws or buttons, and even its packaging which may include ties, Styrofoam, and polystyrene beads, plastic bags or bubble wraps.

"Children are naturally inquisitive. They have a habit of tearing apart toys, even putting them in their mouths to find out how it was made or how it works. Although parents are our children's first line of defense, requiring toy manufacturers to put warning labels on their products will make parents more aware and careful in choosing toys that are safe for their kids," Villar said.

Under the proposed measure, toys that are not properly labeled will be withdrawn from the market at the expense of the manufacturer or importer. The toys will not be allowed to be distributed, sold or offered for sale in the Philippines unless the manufacturer complies with the rules and regulations set by the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Health.

The measure further states that toys and games found to be in violation of the provisions of SBN 3367 shall be confiscated and forfeited in favor of the government and shall be disposed of by the Bureau of Customs.

A fine of not less than P 10,000 but not more than P50,000 or imprisonment of not less than three months but not more than two years, or both, will be imposed on any person or firm who fails to put warning labels on their toys. (YVONNE ALMIRANEZ, PRIB)

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