SENATOR Francis Escudero on Wednesday said the garbage that came from Canada should be returned to its port of origin at no extra cost for the government.
At the hearing of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources on the country’s waste disposal and management system, Escudero criticized the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for not taking a stronger stance when it asked Canada to take back the 103 containers loaded with garbage that arrived in the country from June 2013 to January 2014.
The senator noted that the DFA, upon learning about the arrival of the imported trash, only sent a diplomatic note to Canada seeking for its assistance in the speedy return of the containers.
“Canada was treated with kid gloves. There should have been stronger position against the issue on the part of DFA,” Escudero insisted.
Worst, he said, when Canada said that it has no laws to order its local exporters to bring the containers back, the DFA did not insist that the trash be returned.
“This is a matter of national shame and pride. A shame on Canada for dumping its garbage on someone else’s backyard, our pride as a nation of peoples, not of garbage cans. We must stand up and clean our backyard of this Canadian waste,” the senator stressed.
It was Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. who filed Senate resolution 1449 asking Escudero’s panel to investigate the garbage issue and come up with stringent measures to protect public health and the environment against imported garbage.
Marcos, in his resolution, cited the dumping of 26 container vans of Canadian garbage in a private landfill in Capas, Tarlac operated by the private firm Metro Clark Waste Management Corp.
He emphasized the need to scrutinize the policy of government in allowing foreign solid waste into local landfills.
He pointed out that dumping of foreign waste is being allowed despite the existence Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and RA 6969, or the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Control Act.
Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito also filed a separate resolution insisting that the government give utmost consideration to the issue to prevent the country from being turned into a dumpsite for hazardous waste.