MANILA, Philippines — Environment advocacy group Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Philippines calls on the government to ban the importation of waste materials, even those considered for recycling like those intercepted in Misamis Oriental which were said to be used as an alternative fuel.
In a statement Thursday (May 23), the group condemned the importation of Australian trash discovered in Misamis Oriental.
“The Australian trash in Misamis Oriental is unacceptable, reprehensible and deplorable. Why do we need to repeatedly remind the world that we are not a garbage dump? The Philippines is still reeling from the issue of Canadian waste that, after more than half a decade, the Canadian government is still not taking responsibility for,” the group said in a statement.
Greenpeace was referring to the Canadian waste that were shipped to Manila in batches from 2013 to 2014 and were since abandoned.
For Malacañang, the trash shipment was offensive to the Philippine government and stressed that the government will definitely ship them back to their country of origin.
SUBIC BAY, Philippines – Container ship MV Bavaria has already docked at Subic Bay International Terminal port on Thursday (May 30).
The ship will be the carrying vessel of all 69 containers of trash set to return to Canada.
According to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, the movement of the trash shipments will begin by 12 midnight on Friday (May 31).
The expenses for the return of the trash will be shouldered by the Canadian government estimated at P10 million.
The Canadian trash, composed of toxic wastes, plastic bags, newspaper, and diapers among others, were dumped in the country in batches between 2013 to 2014.
The loads of the other twenty-six (26) containers were already buried in a landfill in Tarlac.
“Finally, (a) proud moment,” said Subic Bay Freeport Zone Administrator Atty. Wilma Eisma in a sigh of relief that finally, the Philippines’ trash row with Canada will be over.
Eisma assured they will be transparent in loading the trash shipment despite earlier advise that members of the media will be barred from taking videos of the containers while being loaded on MV Bavaria.
“The process is very transparent. The documentation for the teams will be very transparent…20 tons per container,” he noted.
Canada was forced to take back the trash shipment after President Rodrigo Duterte in April threatened to “go to war” with the North American country over the issue. — (with reports from Mai Bermudez)
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Sunday (May 26) confirmed the issuance of a memorandum directing government officials to refrain from travelling to Canada.
The directive came after Canada’s failure to uphold the May 15 deadline of taking back the trash shipment that has been abandoned on Philippine soil for years.
“We maintain that these directive are consistent with our stance on the diminished diplomatic relations with Canada,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
The memorandum, signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and issued on May 20, covers all department secretaries, heads of agencies and government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCC) as well as government financial institutions.
Those concerned are barred from giving travel authorities for official trips to Canada and are directed to limit interactions with the Canadian government.
The Philippines earlier recalled its envoys to Canada and reduced diplomatic presence in the North American country.
President Rodrigo Duterte also directed concerned agencies to look for a private shipping company that would ship the garbage materials back to Canadian domain at the soonest possible time even at the expense of the Philippines.
This, even as the Canadian government already awarded a private firm to ship the garbage out of the Philippines in late June.
Meanwhile, Panelo said the Palace commends the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for the early detection of the entry of mixed plastic wastes from Hong Kong into Misamis Oriental.
“We understand that the BOC would export this illegal shipment back to its port of origin,” Panelo said of the waste shipment which have been declared “assorted electronic accessories”.
“We call on concerned agencies of the government to continue exercising vigilance and hinder the entry of such shipments of garbage into our territorial jurisdiction at the first instance,” he added in the statement. Panelo reiterated the Philippine government’s firm position “that it will not allow its territory to be treated as a dumping ground for trash by any foreign country or entity.” – Marje Pelayo (with details from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Thursday (May 23) said President Rodrigo Duterte will not allow a delay in the return of trash shipment to Canada.
Thus, Panelo said Duterte’s order of tapping the service of a private shipping company to immediately ship the abandoned trash back to Canadian territory will push through at the soonest possible time even at the expense of the Philippine government.
“I understand from secretary Dominguez that malapit nang ipadala. The trash will be sent back the soonest,” the Presidential Spokesperson said.
On Wednesday (May 22), the Canadian government through its Ministry of Environment and Climate Change said they have already hired a shipping company to safely bring the waste back to Canada.
But Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said: “The removal will be complete by the end of June, as the waste must be safely treated to meet Canadian safety and health requirements.”
“Sabi nila it will take end of June pa. Hindi papayag si President noon,” Panelo stressed.
“We will not allow ourselves to be a dumping ground of trash,” he concluded. – (with reports from Rosalie Coz) Marje Pelayo
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