Duterte urges Aquino gov’t to protest Canadian trash in PH

Duterte urges Aquino gov’t to protest Canadian trash in PH
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte says the country being made into a dumpsite 'derogates our national dignity'
MANILA, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte urged the administration of President Benigno Aquino III to lodge a diplomatic protest against the Canadian government for more than 1,300 tons of garbage a Canadian firm dumped in the country two years ago.
“Bakit naman ganun? Ginagawa tayong dumping grounds…Bakit mo gagawing basurahan ang bayan ko? When you do that everytime, it is a derogation of our national dignity,” said Duterte.
(Why is this happening? We are being made their dumping grounds…Why make our country a dumpsite?)

In 2013, the Bureau of Customs seized 50 container vans carrying various waste materials, including non-recyclable plastics and adult diapers, imported from Canada.

They were misdeclared to be containing assorted scrap plastic materials for recycling.

“You know in a community of nations, there’s always that rule of good neighbor policy. Kaya naman sana (That’s why hopefully), if that is the spirit of the league of nations, the United Nations, the spirit that prevails should be good neighbor policy. You do not do something which is harmful, that could result in discomfort to your neighbors,” Duterte added.

Aquino did not talk about the issue when he met with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper when they met in May, saying that the matter has already been addressed by Philippine agencies, while the private companies involved have been slapped with criminal charges.

Duterte also said Aquino can follow the example during former president Joseph Estrada’s term when the government filed a diplomatic protest after a Japanese company dumped hazardous waste in the Philippines.

Estrada’s former foreign secretary Domingo Siazon lodged the diplomatic protest with the Japanese government which obliged and moved for the return of more than 100 containers of garbage to Japan.

Customs also accountable

Duterte also asked the Office of the Ombudsman to file criminal and administrative charges against the Bureau of Customs (BOC) officials guilty of allowing the entry of the imported garbage from Canada.

Itong mga taga-Customs…I told the Ombudsman, you can dismiss them summarily,” Duterte said.

BOC, in February 2014, filed charges against Chronic Plastics, the Philippine-based company which imported the Canadian garbage, for violating the importation process and misdeclarations made on paper.

Last May, BOC discovered 48 more container vans at the Manila International Container Port, which documents show, came from another company based in Canada.

At least 26 container vans of the garbage have already been dumped in a private landfill in Capas town, Tarlac, Aquino’s home provice.

Duterte sympathized with the Tarlac government which called on the provincial council to investigate the illegal dumping and determine who was responsible for unloading the waste materials in their province.

Lawmakers, on Monday, July 20, already filed a resolution at the House of Representatives to investigate the dumping of illegally-shipped garbage from Canada in Philippine landfills. – Rappler.com


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