Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)

EMB personnel test for lead in paint samples using X-ray flourescence (XRF) on 5 February 2016. [Nippon Paint]
The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) is a policy framework that recognizes the valuable contribution brought about by chemicals to society and the need for their sound management by year 2020 so as to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment. The "2020 goal" was adopted by the World Summit on Sustainable Development in year 2002 as part of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. In the International Conference on Chemicals Management in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 4 to 6 February 2006, ministers, heads of delegation, and representatives of the private sector and civil society adopted the SAICM. The SAICM includes environmental, economic, social, health and labor aspects of chemical safety and agricultural and industrial chemicals at all stages of the their life cycle, including in-products, except those regulated by domestic food or pharmaceutical authorities. It is related to the Montreal Protocol, the Basel-Rotterdam-Stockholm Conventions and the International Labor Organization Convention No. 170 on the safety in the use of chemicals at work. It is a voluntary global initiative.
Focal Office:
Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)
Date Ratified:
Created - February 6, 2006
Focal Persons/Offices:
High Level
Secretary, DENR
Tel. No. (632) 926 3011, 920 4301, 929 6626 loc 2258

Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs, DENR
Tel. No. (632) 928 1186

National Focal Point
Director, DENR-EMB
Tel. No. (632) 928 3725, 927 1517

Alternate Focal Point
Assistant Director, DENR-EMB
Tel. No. (632) 928 3738
The 2015 meeting of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM4), endorsed the Overall Orientation and Guidance for achieving the 2020 goal of sound management of chemicals. This identifies 11 basic elements that have been recognized as critical to the attainment of sound chemicals and waste management. They are:
- Legal frameworks that address the life cycle of chemicals and waste;
- Relevant enforcement and compliance mechanisms;
- Implementation of chemicals and waste-related multilateral environmental agreements, as well as health, labor and other relevant conventions and voluntary mechanisms;
- Strong institutional frameworks and coordination mechanisms among relevant stakeholders;
- Collection and systems for the transparent sharing of relevant data and information among all relevant stakeholders using a life cycle approach, such as the implementation of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals;
- Industry participation and defined responsibility across the life cycle, including cost recovery policies and systems as well as the incorporation of sound chemicals management into corporate policies and practices;
- Inclusion of the sound management of chemicals and waste in national health, labor, social, environment and economic budgeting processes and development plans;
- Chemicals risk assessment and risk reduction through the use of best practices;
- Strengthened capacity to deal with chemicals accidents, including institutional strengthening for poison centers;
- Monitoring and assessing the impacts of chemicals on health and the environment and;
- Development and promotion of environmentally sound and safer alternatives.

Taking these elements into account, six core activity areas identified for implementing the objectives set out in the Overarching Policy Strategy towards the achievement of the overall 2020 goal are
(a) Enhance the responsibility of stakeholders: promoting and reinforcing commitment and multisectoral engagement;
(b) Establish and strengthen national legislative and regulatory frameworks for chemicals and waste: improving capacity to address the basic elements of the sound management of chemicals and waste and encouraging regional cooperation;
(c) Mainstream the sound management of chemicals and waste in the sustainable development agenda: advancing risk reduction and enhancing the link between the sound management of chemicals and waste and health, labor, and social and economic development planning, processes and budgets;
(d) Increase risk reduction and information sharing efforts on emerging policy issues: continuing to promote actions on issues not currently addressed in existing agreements, complementing initiatives taken by other bodies;
(e) Promote information access: increasing the accessibility of relevant information and making it understandable for all levels of society; and
(f) Assess progress towards the 2020 goal of minimizing the adverse effects of chemicals on human health and the environment: identifying achievements, understanding the gaps in implementation and prioritizing actions for achievement by 2020.
Policy Issuances:
EMB MC 2017-010 Guidelines in the Implementation of Globally Harmonized System (GHS) Classification and Labelling Requirements for High Volume Chemicals (HVCs)
EMB MC 2017-009 Clarifications on Permitting Regulations for Small Quantity Importation (SQI), Pre-Manufacture Pre-Importation Notification (PMPIN), Priority Chemical List (PCL) and Chemical Control Orders (CCO)
EMB MC 2016-003 Clarification on the Prohibition of Paints with Lead and Lead Compounds Used for Children's Toys and Related Products
DENR Administrative


1. Lead Lead in architectural, decorative and household paint and in products for children, was phased out on 1 January 2017. The Philippines will phase out leaded paint used for industrial purposes by 1 January 2020. The Technical Committee 25 (TC-25) is currently updating the Philippine Standards on paint and varnishes such as paint properties, paint application and film formation, optical properties, mechanical properties, durability and chemical requirements. TC-25 incorporated the 90 parts per million (ppm) limit stipulated in DAO 2013-24 for paints and varnishes. The committee, which meets once a month, is composed of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Bureau of Philippine Standards, Philippine Association of Paint Manufacturers, DOST Industrial Technology Development Institute, DENR-EMB, Philippine Institute of Chemical Engineers and the academe. In 2016, the NGO EcoWaste found that some give-away items from a local fast food chain contained high levels of lead. The products were immediately recalled by the firm. The Department of Education issued Department Order 4 Series of 2017 for the mandatory use of lead-safe paints in schools. The Philippine Association of Paint Manufacturers conducts monitoring, inspection and sampling of paint products.

The project Reducing Environmental and Health Risks to Vulnerable Communities from Lead Contamination from Lead Paint and Recycling of Used Lead Acid Batteries (ULAB) Project in the Philippines was conducted from October 2015 to December 2017. The project developed a national supply chain report, a National Inventory/Registry of Potential Lead-Contaminated Sites, and a National Action Plan to address unsafe ULAB recycling practices.

2. Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling (GHS) The DENR-EMB released Memorandum Circular 2017-010 on the Guidelines in the Implementation of GHS Classification and Labelling Requirements for HVCs, which was published in January 2018. Training and orientation seminars for regulators and industry representatives on GHS for the chemical industry were held in Visayas in April 2016 and in Mindanao in June 2016. To harmonize building blocks among government agencies implementing GHS, meetings with industry groups are being conducted.

3. Waste Management The permitting system of the DENR-EMB was upgraded to monitor waste service providers and transporters.

4. Mercury In 2017, the DENR-EMB Online Permitting and Monitoring System (OPMS) was established for the Chemical Control Order (CCO) for Mercury and Mercury Compounds and other regulated chemicals under RA 6969. This provides easier access to data, and exchange thereof between the EMB regional offices and the EMB central office.

For further updates on related matters, please see the sections on the Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm and Minamata Conventions.
This Page was updated on 13 December 2019 and will be updated on 10 December 2020
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