MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III has asked for a Senate inquiry into Canada’s garbage that was illegally dumped in the Philippines in 2013 and remains on Philippine ports.
“We have to determine whether there are sufficient legal safeguards restricting the indiscriminate entry and dumping of solid waste and harmful trash into the Philippines and to formulate laws imposing high penalties for the introduction into the country of all forms of trash,” Pimentel said in a statement on Wednesday, December 20.
A total of 103 container vans of trash from Canada were illegally shipped by Ontario-based company Chronic Incorporated to the Philippines from 2013 to 2015.
The first batch of 50 container vaans that arrived from June to August 2013 were misdeclared as assorted scrap plastic materials for recycling.
The vans, however, carried various waste materials, including non-recyclable plastics and adult diapers, imported from Canada. (READ: TIMELINE: Canada garbage shipped to the Philippines)
During his last visit to the Philippines for the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it is “now theoretically possible” to get back the illegal trash since “legal barriers and restrictions…have now been addressed.”
But Trudeau did not make a full commitment to remove the garbage out of the country yet, noting that the trash came from a private business and not the Canadian government.
On Wednesday, Pimentel cited the Philippine Constitution and Republic Act 6969 or the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990 in filing Senate Resolution 553.
“Thus, considering the monumental consequences, it behooves us in the Senate to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, to determine whether there are sufficient laws restricting the indiscriminate entry and dumping of solid wastes and other harmful trash into our country,” he said. – Rappler.com