Shame on you, Canada

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THE conclusions from a Senate hearing this week on the circumstances by which 103 containers of trash from Canada found their way into the Philippines were the correct ones, and no less than anyone in this country should expect. The Senate tells the Aquino administration to do what it should have done with prodding: Demand that the Canadian government to take back their garbage, at their own expense. The Senate also wants the Department of Foreign Affairs censured for its weak and diffident handling what is now a more than two-year-old problem.

We will not criticize Sen. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., who introduced a resolution asking the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources to look into the matter, or the panel’s chairman, Sen. Chiz Escudero, for their tardiness in giving their attention to the issue, because the Senate frankly should not have to spend valuable time investigating such a stupidly simple problem. Even though we have clear laws covering this sort of thing – Sen. Marcos cited the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003) and the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Control Act (RA 6969) in his resolution – it should be a matter of basic common sense that garbage of any sort is not an acceptable import under any circumstances.

That common sense, however, seems to have escaped the Bureau of Customs, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the DFA, and most of all, the importer (who has not yet been identified) of the unwelcome cargo. All of those concerned have violated our laws and wasted the people’s time and money, and they should be sanctioned appropriately.

Whatever misbehavior occurred here, however, does not in any way reduce or eliminate Canada’s ultimate responsibility for the problem. And for the Canadian government—one which the Philippines otherwise has an excellent relationship with, and for the most part has a reputation for being sensitive to environmental issues, at least outside its own country—to plead helplessness to apply the simple solution of arranging for its unwanted trash to be picked up and returned to its sender is a shocking disappointment. It is particularly distressing that Canada has taken this attitude now, at a time when climate issues and their impact on developing nations are again coming to the fore in discussions leading up to the global climate summit to be held in Paris at the end of this year.


One would think that even if Canada honestly does not see the obvious problem with sending massive amounts of garbage to a country that is already struggling with various ecological challenges, the inevitability of being the subject of a great deal of bad publicity should have made the Canadian officials concerned with this issue should have been more proactive.

Shame on you, Canada. We thought you were better than this. Whatever our unassertive diplomatic officials have to say about the matter, we demand, on behalf of the people of the Philippines, that you take back your trash without further delay.

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13 Comments

  1. who knows what is covered by the garbage? How and why the containers were able to leave the port and was able to get to Tarlac? That only means, what is happening is related to the man from Tarlac, that is why the containers has to be opened in Tarlac so what was covered by the garbage can be removed and hidden while the garbage cover is buried in impromptu dumpsite.

    All the people involved in the release of such cargo out of the port should be persecuted according to law but how can you do that if the man from Tarlac is the mastermind?

  2. Canadian Government had nothing to do with the acts of ungas of the “exporter” and the “importer”.
    Charged simultaneously the bogus “exporter” and the bogus “importer” with all kinds of violations pertaining environmental issues.
    Dismiss from the job the irresponsible officials that “approved” the shipment of the thrash.

  3. .
    Something is fishy here. Kung talagang garbage ang laman ng mga containers at bawal ipasok sa bansa, bakit nakalabas sa Bureau of Customs at nadala sa Tarlac? Hindi kaya isa ito sa mga kababalaghang nangyayari sa BOC?

    Whitby plastic recycler denies shipping trash to Philippines

    A Whitby businessman accused of illegally shipping mounds of trash masked as recyclable plastic to the Philippines is flatly denying the charge. “Their story of this garbage thing is just driving me nuts,” said Jim Makris, owner of Chronic Inc., a business that sends mixed plastics across the Pacific to be sorted in the Philippines and sold for recycling. “Anybody who’s in plastic, who knows plastic, will tell you. It’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard of in my entire life,” Makris said.

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/02/13/whitby_plastic_recycler_denies_shipping_trash_to_philippines.html

  4. Basura kasi ang tingin nila sa Presidente ng Pilipinas na mangmang sa batas..Iyan ang napala ng kultong dilawan pero damay ang buong mamayang Pilipino.. Utak mang mang and lider ng bansa..God save Philippines from the hands of Devil Liberal Party.
    Bong Bong Marcos ang tanging siyang may malasakit sa ating bayan at mamayang filipino.

  5. It should not be a shame on Canada, but rather shame be on corrupt PH Bureau of Customs officials who contracted to get these garbage in return for hundred of thousands of pesos per shipping container.

  6. what happened to accountability? prosecute those government officials and employees who allowed this or negligent. fire them and jail them for a few months to teach them a lesson. this is no excuse. you cannot blame Canada. Blame the Philippine government known for its ineptness.

  7. It should not be shame on you canada. It must be shame on you philippines and custom bureau. First of all these garbage must be unloaded here. They should have check and put it back on the cargo ships that brougth it here. These should not be our problem but the ship that deliver these cargoes.

  8. The importer is a Filipino company who in cahoots with a private Canadian company imported the trash. How does make the Canadian taxpayers responsible. Your BOC either looked the other way or botched the inspection. If they had caught on arrival it could have been returned to the shipper.

  9. Bring and open 1 container inside the compound of the Canadian embassy so they can smell their stinks…This action of Canada shows that it has no respect to Philippines. We are garbage to them that is why they dump their waste here. Give them a lesson.

  10. Filomeno Casaul on

    Philippines deserved it!

    Government na bulok dapat lang tapunan ng trash para malaman ng mga government officials ano ang tingin sa kanila ng mga leaders ng foreign countries.

  11. Yung mga garbage na yan dumatin dito just after na nanggaling si Pinoy sa Canada. Yung and pabaon ng Canada sa kanya. Of all places sa Pilipinas sa Tarlac pa. Kasi and tingin nila kay Pinoy ay garbage. Wala silang pake sa kanya. D man lang siya umangal.