Lapid bats for donation, recycling system for electronic gadgets


MANILA, Philippines — Senator Lito Lapid has filed a bill seeking to establish a program where manufacturers and retailers of electronic gadgets will be mandated to set up donation and recycling booths in their outlets and service centers.

In filing Senate Bill No. 1846, Lapid said the booths will be set up for electronic gadgets such as laptops and mobile phones for donation or recycling. 

He explained that users frequently dispose of their old gadgets as they buy brand-new units, which in turn, contribute to the waste problem in the country. 

“Hindi natin masisisi ang ating mga kababayan kung gugustuhin nilang palitan ng bago ang kanilang mga gadget kahit hindi pa ito sira, lalo kung may pambili naman sila. Pero kung tutuusin ang mga lumang gadget gaya ng mobile phones at laptop, hindi naman kailangan itapon,” Lapid said in a statement on Friday.

(We cannot blame our countrymen if they want to have brand-new gadgets even if their old ones are still working, especially if they have the means.  But old gadgets like mobile phones and laptops should not be discarded.)  

“Pwede pa itong ipamigay dahil marami pa ang pwedeng makinabang dito lalo sa panahong ito. Maraming mga estudyante at guro ang walang magamit na cellphone o computer habang nasa online classes tayo dahil sa pandemya,” he added.

(It can still be donated because many will still benefit from such.   There are a lot of students and teachers who do not have cellphones or computers to use even as we conduct online classes due to the pandemic.)

Under the Electronics Donation and Recycling Program that Lapid wants to create through the bill, collected gadgets intended for donation will be turned over to the Department of Education for distribution to poor students.

Meanwhile, collected gadgets intended for recycling will be turned over to accredited facilities of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources that are capable of recycling such gadgets and its components.

24.9 million discarded phones

In pushing for the proposed measure, Lapid also cited a study from the University of the Philippines which found out that over 24.9 million units of phones are predicted to be discarded by 2021, with respondents saying they were replacing phones once every one to two years. 

According to Lapid, the apparent wastage in the disposal of old gadgets and the lack of gadgets for students from low-income households are the “primary motivation” of the proposed measure. 

The senator likewise cited a study by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies which revealed that only 69 percent of poor households have mobile phones, while only 1 percent and 6 percent of poor and low-income families have computers, respectively.

Distance learning blues

He added that in Metro Manila alone, over 640,000 public school students lack gadgets, while 13 percent of teachers have no laptops or computers at home based on the survey of the Department of Education.

“Nag-aalala tayo na ang kawalan ng gadget kasama na ang problema sa internet sa bansa ay maaring maging dahilan para di na lamang tumuloy sa pag-aaral ang ating mga kabataan sa panahong ito ng pandemya kung saan pinatutupad ang distance learning,” said Lapid.

(We are worried that the lack of gadgets and the problem in the internet in the country could be the reason why many students cannot continue with their education during this pandemic where distancing learning is being applied.)

“Maiibsan sana ang kawalang ito ng ating mga mag-aaral kung may magdodonate lamang ng kanilang lumang gadget na gumagana pa naman. Sa halip na itapon, sigurado akong mas gugustuhin ng ating mga kababayan na ibigay na lamang ang kanilang mga gadget na hindi naman na nila gagamitin,” he added. 

(This could be addressed if working gadgets are donated instead of discarded. Instead of disposing of it, I am sure that our countrymen will want to donate the gadgets that they no longer use.)


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