MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs has filed smuggling charges against the Filipino importer of the 48 container vans of garbage from Canada.
The garbage was misdeclared as importable “plastic scraps” when it entered the Manila International Container Port from Vancouver, Canada, said the BOC in a July 30 press release.
Nelson Manio, owner of Live Green Enterprise, faces charges of violating the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines and Department of Environment and Natural Resources guidelines on the importation of recyclables containing hazardous substances.
The 48 container vans were discovered by the BOC last May. It is the second batch of container vans from Canada to make its way to the Philippines. The first batch of 55 container vans was intercepted by BOC in June 2013.
The Canadian exporter of the 48 container vans is the same exporter of the first batch of containers – Jim Makris of Chronic Inc Canada, said the BOC.
In fact, it was this finding that led the agency to suspect the contents of the shipments were misdeclared.
BOC has filed similar charges against the Filipino importer of the first batch of container vans, Chronic Plastics. The case is now pending with the courts.
The Canadian government has not filed any charges against Makris, the Canadian exporter. The Canadian embassy previously said it had “no domestic or international authority” to compel Makris to ship back the garbage.
A DENR Waste Analysis Composition Study concluded that the garbage inside the second batch of containers is not hazardous. The study found that the garbage is composed of “municipal solid waste,” specifically mixed and unsorted household and street garbage.
The container vans from Canada have sparked outrage among environmentalists and concerned citizens, including Canadians.
Twenty-six of the containers have already been emptied in a private landfill in Capas, Tarlac.
Lawmakers are set to conduct probes in both houses of Congress on the issue.
Advocacy groups have asked the international Basel Convention to intervene. As signatory to the convention, Canada is responsible for the trash stranded in the Philippines and is duty-bound to take back the garbage, say environmentalists. – Rappler.com
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