EMB announces Feb 12 EPR registration deadline

The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) said obliged enterprises need to submit their Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs by February 12, 2023 and pay the proposed interim fees and charges.

Lawyer Ivy de Pedro of the EMB outlined the fees and charges that enterprises are required to pay upon application and registration of their EPR programs in her presentation during a January 30 public consultation with concerned stakeholders.

We need to rush because Republic Act (RA) No. 11898 or the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Act lapsed into law in July 2022 and became effective August 12, 2022, De Pedro said in a mix of English and Filipino.

“The law mandated the obliged enterprises to register their EPR programs within six months from the effectivity of the law and not within six months from the effectivity of the IRR. We recall the six months from the enactment of the law on August 12, 2022; hence the deadline for the submission of EPR programs would be on February 12, 2023,” she said.

De Pedro explained that the proposed fees are interim in nature because the EMB “was only given 90 days to come up with the IRR” or the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 11898. This meant that the agency was “not yet able to conduct the COSA or cost of service analysis,” said the executive.

She added that the interim fees were computed “in comparison with similar services the EMB renders” but are subject to change once the COSA is completed to determine the reasonableness of the fees and charges imposed.

The IRR of the EPR Act of 2022 was signed on January 24, 2023 as DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2023-02, and Section 16.1.2 of the DAO becomes the legal basis for implementing the EPR fees, said De Pedro.

The section states: “Within three days from receipt of the application, the NEC (National Ecology Center) shall complete its examination of the application to determine its completeness in accordance with Section 16.2 and Section 16.3 hereof.

“If complete, the NEC shall email the duly designated officer of the applicant with the Order of Payment of the EPR Registration Fees and Annual Compliance Monitoring Fees in accordance with the Schedule of EPR Fees to be issued by the Bureau.”

The proposed service fee for application and registration of the EPR program is P15,000, while the annual compliance monitoring fee is also P15,000.

There are additional fees for post-EPR program service. Changes in the EPR program have a P10,000 fee for major amendments and P5,000 for minor amendments. Meanwhile, changes in modes of compliance, such as changes from individual obliged enterprises to collective ones, are attached a P10,000 fee.

All other fees on services to be charged shall be in accordance with DAO 2016-28, De Pedro said.

Under DAO 2023-02, “obliged enterprises” cover two types. One consists of large enterprises that generate plastic packaging waste, while the other type is micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) where the total value of assets of all enterprises carrying the same brand, label, or trademark exceeds that of medium enterprises.

Stakeholders with queries or clarifications about EPR may email the bureau at epr@emb.gov.ph or call 8539-4378 local 135 or 136.

RA 11898 or the EPR Act of 2022 mandates companies to establish EPR programs for their plastic packaging. The Act, which lapsed into law in July last year, also amended RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

Under the new law, companies will have to establish EPR programs for plastic waste reduction, recovery, and diversion.

RA 11898 is a “practical approach to efficient waste management, focusing on waste reduction, recovery, and recycling, and the development of environment-friendly products that advocate the internationally accepted principles on sustainable consumption and production, circular economy, and producers’ full responsibility throughout the life cycle of products,” according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Under EPR, “obliged enterprises,” or through their producer responsibility organizations, will have to recover or offset their generated plastic product footprint by 20% in 2023 to 80% by 2028, said the agency.

Among the plastic packaging covered by the EPR Law are single or multilayered plastics such as sachets, rigid plastic packaging products like food and drink containers, single-use plastic bags, and polystyrene.

Penalties for the non-compliance of EPR duties range from P5 million to P20 million, or “twice the cost of recovery and diversion of the footprint or its shortfall, whichever is higher.”

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