Update, latest development of Garbage from Canada to the Philippines
Re export the 98 container vans filled with mixed waste and trash from the Philippines to Canada
Anna Marie Kapunan Quezon City, Philippines
Canada, pick up your garbage!
Philippines is not your trash can!!!
In July, 2013 the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in the Philippines seized about fifty (50) 40-footer container vans of “heterogeneous plastic scrap materials” in the Port of Manila. The shipper, Chronic Incorporated, a private company in Ontario, Company (owned by Jim Makris) consigned the shipment to a Philippine based company, Chronic Plastics ( Ms. Adelfa Eduardo).
BOC and DENR conducted inspection of the contents of some container vans and found that the shipment contained mixed waste(non-recyclable plastics, used adult diapers, broken bottles and glasses, waste paper, household/kitchen waste, etc)- a misdeclaration of contents.
The Department of Health (DOH)- Bureau of Quarantine inspected the container vans and reported that the 18 OPENED container vans need to be DISINFECTED the soonest time possible. ThePhilippine government will shoulder the cost of disinfection through sodium hypochlorite (bleach solution).
The 50 container vans, until now, are left in the vicinity of the BOC. The garbage juice is now LEAKING and poses extreme health hazards and irreversible environmental problems in our country.
Aside from environmental concerns, economic issues also come into play as the Philippine government has incurred losses on storage and demurrage brought about by the importation of the contraband.
The imported garbage is a violation of RA 6969 also known as “Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990”. In the same manner, the importation constitutes ILLEGAL TRADE pursuant to the BASEL Convention “On The Control Of Transboundary Movements Of Hazardous Waste And Their Disposal”. In the said convention, the movement of mixed waste between countries is prohibited. The primary objective of this treaty is “to protect human health and environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes.”
In March 2015, it was discovered that a new batch of imported garbage, about 48 container vans have been in the Philippine port since February 2014.
ANG NARS, together with Public Services Labor Confederation (PSLINK), Ateneo School of Government(ASOG), Ban Toxics, Ecowaste Coalition, Greenpeace, Green Convergence, and Mother Earth Foundation petition theCanadian Embassy to hasten theRE-EXPORTATION of the 50 FORTY FOOTER container vans to Canada; to REIMBURSE the actual cost incurred by the Philippine government; and, to RESTITUTE the damages it may have caused.
Pick up your imported garbage, Canada. It’s the civil thing to do for a first world country like you.
NO to Canadian garbage transboundary movement!
Philippines is NOT a dumping site of Canadian garbage!
Kalusugan Para Sa Bayan!
Years after 2,500 tonnes of Canadian trash landed in Manila, Philippines demanding we take it back
Jay Directo/AFP/Getty ImagesActivists rally outside the Philippine Senate in Manila on Sept. 9, 2015 to demand that garbage containers be shipped back to Canada and to push for the ratification of the Basel Ban Amendment which prohibits the export of hazardous waste from developed to developing countries.
For two years, it’s been straining Canadian-Filipino relations, prompting protests, petitions, stern-worded political threats and even a demand for an official government inquiry.
As 50 shipping containers full of Vancouver garbage continue to rot in Philippine ports, officials in the Asian nation remain adamant that Canada should “take back its waste.
“The waste is just there in our port,” said a statement last week by Philippine Senator Loren Legarda, one of the main campaigners against the Canadian trash.
Legarda was speaking at a hearing where Philippine senators were told that the 2,500 tonnes of Canadian trash was violating both “domestic laws” and international garbage treaties.
“That makes it very clear that Canada should take back its waste,” said Legarda.
The trash, which is all sourced from the Vancouver area, was shipped to Manila in early 2013 by Ontario’s Chronic Inc.
AP Photo/Bullit MarquezA truck with a photo of waste shipment from Canada that was seized by Philippine Customs two years ago, is parked near the Presidential Palace during a protest by Greenpeace activists, May 4, 2015 in Manila.
Although the containers were labelled “scrap plastic materials for recycling,” inspectors with the Philippine Bureau of Customs instead reported finding the containers stuffed with rotting household waste and soggy paper.
The discovery incensed Philippine politicians and environmental groups, who accused Canada of pawning off its garbage on poorer countries.
“I will not tolerate this matter sitting down,” Leah Paquiz, a member of the Philippine House of Representatives, said last year. “My motherland is not a garbage bin of Canada.”
EcoWaste Coalition, a prominent campaigner against the garbage, has warned the Philippines is being transformed into a “global trash bin.”
In May, protesters — one of whom was dressed as a shipping container filled with garbage — staged a demonstration outside the Canadian Embassy.
And although the country’s diplomatic staff have assured parliamentarians that they are firing off diplomatic notes and raising the issue in calls to the Canadian minister of foreign affairs, they have been accused of dawdling.
“Canada was treated with kid gloves,” Senator Francis Escudero said last month.
The owner of Chronic Inc., Jim Makris, has dismissed claims that the containers contained garbage, saying that it would be infinitely cheaper to dump garbage in Canada rather than shipping it across the Pacific. Also, he said the containers don’t point to any large scale smuggling operation: At 2,500 tonnes, the containers represent less than a day’s worth of trash from Metro Vancouver.
Part of the ire can be traced to the fact that while the containers hold common household waste, many campaigners became alarmed by early reports that the waste is “hazardous” and “toxic.”
“It can have bacteria. It can even cause cancer. It can go up the air. When you inhale, it can cause mutations and can cause cancer,” Anna Kapunan, a representative of Ban Toxics, said last July.
An online petition signed by 40,000 people similarly made the hyped claim that the household trash represented “irreversible environmental problems” if left on Philippine soil.
Philippine Bureau of CustomsCustoms agents in February 2014 investigate a container allegedly filled with waste materials from Canada. Just months earlier, the agency seized 50 containers with tons of waste plastic and paper materials from Canada that were declared as scrap plastic materials for recycling.
Toxic or not, though, foreign garbage is a sensitive subject in the Philippines.
In 1999, Philippine officials intercepted 120 Japanese shipping containers that were similarly found to be packed with waste. In that case, the Japanese government chartered a ship to repatriate the garbage — and vowed to prosecute the company responsible.
“The Philippines is not the garbage dumping site of Japan. The Philippines is not also the dumping area of Canada,” Escudero fumed recently.
Canada has maintained throughout that it has no mechanism to force Canadians to repatriate overseas trash.
In July, the Philippine Bureau of Customs abandoned attempts to have the garbage sent back to Canada, and ordered the garbage to a landfill in the Philippine province of Tarlac.
Disposal crews had only emptied 29 containers, however, before the move was halted by Tarlac Governor Victor Yap.
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