Legarda: PHL is Not Trash Bin of the WorldJuly 18, 2015
Senator Loren Legarda strongly condemned the entry and eventual dumping at the country’s sanitary landfill of waste shipped from Canada and said she will file a resolution so that the Senate will look into the matter.
“The Philippines is not a trash bin of the world. Canada should take back their garbage,” said Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.
The Port of Manila, on two separate occasions from June 2013 to August 2013 and from December 2013 to January 2014, saw the illegal entry of ninety-eight (98) container vans carrying garbage from Canada-based firm Chronic, Inc. with the shipment assigned to Valenzuela City-based Chronic Plastics. It was later determined that the shipment supposedly carrying recyclable plastics in reality contained household wastes, including adult diapers and kitchen waste.
Citing the need to address the health hazards posed by the illegal shipment with Canada refusing to allow its re-entry back to them, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) decided to dump the wastes in a sanitary landfill in Tarlac citing the findings of the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that the shipment contained no toxic substances.
“This latest action by the BOC on this important issue poses long-term challenges for the country as it may create a precedent for others to ship their wastes here, in clear violation of the objectives of the Basel Convention and of our national laws,” Legarda stressed.
The Senator said that the strict prohibition on the entry of hazardous wastes from abroad is affirmed under section 48 of Republic Act No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, which prohibits the importation of toxic products misrepresented as “recyclable” or “with recyclable content”.
“We are campaigning for the full implementation of all our environmental laws, including the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act. Other nations must respect our laws. Apart from ensuring that the Philippine government shall be compensated for all costs related to the hygienic and safe disposal of the illegal shipment of waste, it is important that all agencies of government pursue measures allowed under our existing national laws and international treaties to ensure the protection of our national interest,” said Legarda.