No Mayor Sara at father’s SONA

Sara Duterte-Carpio

DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte will be skipping the 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte.

In a text message, Mayor Sara said she is on 60-day medical leave to attend to her health problem.

“No. I am on a special medical leave for 60 days. It’s a gyne condition,” she said in a text message when asked if she will be present in the SONA.

President Duterte will be delivering his 4th SONA on Monday, July 22.

The presidential daughter was present in the last three SONAs of the President.

Mayor Sara is the founder and chairperson of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago whose nine senatorial candidates won the mid-term elections.

His elder brother, Paolo Duterte was elected as Representative of Davao City while her younger brother Sebastian Duterte was unopposed as Vice Mayor.

Vice Mayor Baste is not attending the SONA either.

He said in a press conference in Davao City two days ago that he plans to just watch the President on television.

Foreign waste dumping

Meanwhile a waste and pollution watchdog is hoping that President Duterte’s fourth SONA will finally put an end to foreign waste dumping in the country.

The EcoWaste Coalition (EWC) said they are hoping that President Duterte will use his SONA as a vehicle to send a message -- loud and clear -- that importation of all wastes into the country’s ports are things of the past.

“We hope President Duterte in his upcoming SONA will reinforce his resolute stance against foreign waste dumping,” EWC national coordinator Aileen Lucero said.
Lucero also said that the President will also give the environmental department and the customs bureau their marching orders to ensure zero entry of all garbage from overseas to include processed residuals cunningly called alternative fuels.

“We also want him to set a definite deadline for the immediate re-export of Australian and South Korean waste shipments that are still languishing in Mindanao,” she said,

Two hundred eleven tons of waste-derived processed engineered fuel from Australia and 5,177 tons of mixed plastic waste from South Korea are stranded at the Mindanao Container Terminal and PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate in Tagoloan, Misamis, Oriental.

To assure the Filipino people that foreign waste dumping would no longer happen on Duterte’s watch, the EcoWaste Coalition reiterated the need for the government to enforce a complete and permanent ban, not simply a moratorium, on waste exports to the Philippines.

“His fourth SONA is the right time for the chief policy maker to announce a total ban on foreign waste imports and his intent to ratify this year the Basel Ban Amendment and the Minamata Convention on Mercury, two landmark global agreements that seek to protect public health and the environment against hazardous chemicals and wastes,” the EWC official said. 

With Joel dela Torre