The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has won the Special Award for its policy on lead in paint in the Future Policy Award 2021—dubbed as the "Oscar on Best Policies."

On June 29, Germany-based World Future Council (WFC) announced that DENR's Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2013-24 or the Chemical Control Order for Lead and Lead Compounds is one of the five recipients of the prestigious award.

The Philippines is the first Southeast Asian country to receive the award.

Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said the award marks the DENR’s major feat towards a lead-free country.

"We cannot be any happier with this great news. This is a landmark achievement of the DENR as we campaign for a lead-free country," Cimatu said.

The DENR chief also underscored that the award is an indication that the Philippines is on the right track in regulating, phasing out, and banning chemicals for the serious risks it could bring to public health and the environment.

"As I have mentioned before when we were announced to have been shortlisted, this just goes to show that we are doing right in our campaign to prevent the serious risks of materials with lead content could pose to public health and the environment," Cimatu pointed out.

Section 4 of DAO 2013-24 mandates the prohibition of the use of lead and lead compounds in the production/manufacturing of packaging for food and drink, fuel additives, water pipes, school supplies, cosmetics, and paints.

The policy has ordered the prohibition of the production of paints as a pigment, drying agent, or for some intentional use with more than 90 parts per million (ppm), which is set as the threshold limit.

The Philippines is among the three recipients of the Special Award alongside Sri Lanka and Colombia for their policies on highly hazardous pesticides and environmentally persistent pharmaceutical pollutants.

Meanwhile, Kyrgyzstan’s resolution on approval of chemical hazard classification system and hazard information requirements and Sweden’s phase-out lists for chemical hazardous to the environment and human health were given the Gold Awards.

The Future Policy Award is the only award that celebrates legislation and policies for the benefit of current and future generations at the international level.

A total of 55 policies from 36 countries were nominated for the award.

The WFC research team came out with the 12 shortlisted policies in May.

The five winning policies will be recognized through an online awarding ceremony on July 6 at 10 p.m. (Philippine time). ###