House approves labeling requirements for kids’ toys, games

THE House of Representatives has approved on second reading a bill providing protection to children against potential hazards to their health and safety by setting standardized labeling requirements for certain kids’ toys and games.

House Bill 6529, a consolidation of House Bills 1221 and 1727, authored respectively by Reps. Diosdado M. Arroyo (2nd District, Camarines Sur) and his mother Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd District, Pampanga) and Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City) and his brother Maximo Rodriguez (Party-list, Abante Mindanao), seeks to prescribe the printing of cautionary statements and require the inclusion of graphics for the labeling of certain toys or games.

Arroyo said in order to achieve this, the State shall provide safety and quality standards for consumer products by requiring that a consumer product for children be marked with or accompanied by clear safety warnings or instructions.

“A law that would protect children against hazards and safety and the provision of adequate rights and means of redress is imperative,” the younger Arroyo said.

Rodriguez, for his part, said the measure requires that safety labeling of toy or game be applied to food items which contain or whose packaging includes a toy or descriptive material of a game.

Under the measure to be known as the “Toy and Game Safety Labeling Act of 2011,” the Department of Health (DOH) is mandated to publish every six months the list of all misbranded or banned hazardous substances the sale, offer for sale and distribution of which shall not be allowed subject to the requirements of this Act.

The packaging of any descriptive material, and in case of bulk sales, bins, containers for retail display or vending machines from which the unpacked toy or game is dispensed, shall bear the cautionary statements with corresponding graphics intended for the use of children below 14 years old includes a small part and is manufactured for sale, offered for sale or distributed in commerce in the Philippines.

It authorizes the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the DOH to include in their respective annual budgets the amount necessary for the effective implementation of this Act.

The penalties provided range from P10,000 to P50,000 and imprisonment of two years or both.

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