A leader of an environmental watchdog has urged local government units (LGUs) to oppose dumping of Canadian waste in their respective areas.
Aileen Lucero, EcoWaste Coalition coordinator, on Monday said while officials of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) “scamper for alternative disposal” of the imported trash after residents of Tarlac rejected a plan to dump the garbage there, the LGUs must not offer their areas for disposal of the Canadian waste.
More than a week ago, Tarlac Gov. Victor Yap admitted to Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that at least 26 container vans of the imported garbage had been accepted by Metro Clark Waste Management Corp. and disposed of in the company’s landfill.
The disposal was blasted by local resident, saying their health would be severely affected by it.
Marcos was said to be extremely disappointed with the Tarlac incident that he filed Senate Resolution 1449 “to institute more stringent measures to protect public health and the environment from toxic and hazardous materials as well as ensure environmentally sound waste management.”
The chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government and concurrent member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, he was was “puzzled why [the]foreign trash, feared to contain toxic and hazardous materials, ended up on Philippine soil.”
The resolution also seeks a thorough probe of the dumping of the of 26 container vans of garbage from Canada.
The House Committee on Ecology is also expected to conduct its own investigation, with by Bayan Muna party-list Representatives Neri Colmenares and Carlos Isagani Zarate filing House Resolution 2220.
Colmenares and Zarate have also opposed dumping of foreign garbage in the Philippines.
Lucero said EcoWaste Coalition has asked officials of the LGUs “to pass preemptive measures that will prohibit the disposal of garbage from Canada or any other country in facilities under their jurisdiction.”
“Ordinances or resolutions by concerned provincial, city and municipal councils would frustrate any move by the Bureau of Customs to dispose of the reeking foreign garbage locally instead of shipping it back to its origin,” she added.
The LGUs “should enact a blanket prohibition on foreign waste disposal to send an unambiguous message to Canada and the entire world that no part of the country is willing to be a global trash bin. It is a patriotic and precautionary act in the name of public health and the environment that will surely draw the respect and support of their constituents,” Lucero said.
She noted that the EcoWaste Coalition’s call on the LGUs was consistent with Republic Act (RA) 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.
Marcos earlier also said “waste disposal in the Philippines is also strictly regulated by [RA] 9003… and [RA] 6969, or the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Control Act.”
“The Constitution also calls on the state to protect and promote people’s right to health and their right to a balanced and healthy ecology,” he added.