Green groups and civil society organizations gathered today at the Canadian Embassy to call for the “re-exportation” of their toxic wastes which were discovered by the Enforcement Department of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) headed by Deputy Commissioner Ariel Nepomuceno last January and initially intended as plastic scraps supposedly for recycling. The groups delivered a petition letter to Canadian Ambassador Neil Reeder to ask for the immediate return of the 50 container vans of toxic wastes back to its Canadian port of origin.
Composed of ANG NARS Party-List, Greenpeace, Ecowaste Coalition, Mother Earth Foundation, Green Convergence, Ban Toxics, Public Services Labor Independent Confederation and the Ateneo School of Government, the groups expressed their dismay at the inaction by the Canadian government and demanded that the shipment firm Chronic Incorporated, and its Philippine consignee Chronic Plastics, return the hazardous shipment back to Canada at their expense.
“These toxic wastes pose imminent risks, threats and hazards to our environment, which in turn, result to irreparable damage on the health of the Filipinos. So we demand for the re-exportation of these Canadian wastes immediately,” said Representative Leah Paquiz of ANG NARS Party-List.
According to the BOC, the shipment, which started arriving as early as June 2013, contained mixed waste composed of plastic bags, bottles, newspaper, household garbage, and even used adult diaper.
“The Philippines is not and will never be a dumping ground for international wastes. We ask that Ambassador Reeder to cooperate and help expedite the return of their toxic waste that have been ‘overstaying’ in our shores since June,” said Abigail Aguilar, Toxics Campaigner of Greenpeace Philippines.
Greenpeace said that the toxic shipment was a clear violation of the Basel Convention on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes, an international treaty, to which both the Philippines and Canada are signatories, designed to eliminate the movements of hazardous waste between nations, and specifically intends to protect developing nations from becoming the dumping ground of industrialized countries. The Canadian shipment also violated Republic Act 6969 (Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990).
For more information, please contact:
Anna Kapunan, Political Affairs III, ANG-NARS Party-List
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org, Mobile No.: 0927-7794563
Abigail Aguilar, Toxics Campaigner, Greenpeace Philippines
Email Address: email@example.com, Mobile No.: 0923-6502070