SENATOR Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is seeking a Senate inquiry into dumping of smuggled waste from Canada in a sanitary landfill operated by Metro Clark Waste Management Corp. in Capas, Tarlac.
Marcos on Thursday said he wants senators to look into the matter after learning that 26 out of the 50 containers of waste shipped from Canada in 2013 had already been dumped in the Capas landfill.
“We object to any kind of illegal dumping of waste, be it local or foreign. But this seems to be one of the worst cases that we have heard about wherein it would appear that we are smuggling garbage into our country,” he said in an interview after meeting with officials of Tarlac province led by Gov. Victor Yap.
Marcos cited the need to ensure the welfare of Tarlac residents and also to prevent the Philippines from earning the dubious reputation as garbage importer.
He said that as chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, he can ask for a Senate investigation of the dumping of Canadian garbage based on a resolution by the provincial board.
The probe is needed, according to Marcos, because it is possible that imported trash from other countries may also find its way to Philippine ports in the future.
He said these countries that implement stringent regulations on waste disposal might find it easier to ship their garbage to the Philippines than comply with their own garbage-disposal laws.
“Waste disposal in Europe has become very expensive that it would be cheaper to ship the garbage anywhere where it would be accepted. But why should we accept garbage, and who is making money here, notwithstanding the health risks this may pose to our people?” Marcos asked.
The Philippines and Canada are signatories to the 1992 Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste that prohibits the export of toxic or hazardous waste.
As of January 2015, 182 states and the European Union are parties to the convention.
Aside from the dumping of Canadian waste, Marcos said the Senate probe will also tackle the growing problem of waste disposal in the country.
He added that there is also a need to strictly enforce Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and formulate a cohesive national strategy on waste disposal, one that would require participation of every local government unit.