In September 2022, two chemical control order (CCO) drafts were published by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) of the Philippines for benzene and vinyl chloride. The draft order adds vinyl chloride to chemical substances to be regulated under CCOs, to reduce the risk of its exposure to human health and the environment. Both CCOs will go into effect 15 days after they are announced in a major publication.
Benzene is used in the production of many polymers and plastics including polystyrene, thus the draft order is applicable to all sectors of its use. If this order gets approved company sectors from importers, distributors, manufacturers and industrial users, commercial users, transporters, to treatment, storage, and disposal (TSD) facilities should register the substance on the Philippines Online Permitting and Monitoring System (OPMS). They will receive the certificate after submitting the necessary documents. For the import of the substance, importers must apply for import clearance via the same system and the clearance will be valid for six months.
The use of benzene will be prohibited if no technically and economically feasible alternatives can be found, in paints, varnishes, coatings, solvents and thinners, glues, cement and rubber goods, solutions for textiles, fabrics, and leathers, inks and dyes and in cleaning and degreasing agents.
In February 2022 the first draft CCO for vinyl chloride was published by the DENR. Vinyl chloride is used to manufacture polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is used to make many plastic products including pipes, wire and cable coatings, and packaging materials. So, in the second draft of the CCO for vinyl chloride, there is an addition of the prohibited uses section which stipulates that the substance will be banned in aerosols as a propellant or an ingredient. Also, In the chemical management plan, some slight changes have been made relating to registration requirements which include which documents are necessary and what additional details of the chemical are needed.