‘PH not a dumpsite’

“PHILIPPINES is not the world’s dumpsite.”

Environmental watchdog EcoWaste Coalition (EWC) stressed this after the Philippines sent  tons of garbage back to Canada and Hong Kong.

At yesterday’s send-off ceremony for the seized mixed plastic trash shipment from Hong Kong, the EWC and its partner groups in Mindanao said: “Mindanao is not a garbage bin and any entries of illegal waste in the region’s ports are totally unacceptable.”

The more than 30 members of the environment group carrying a banner with words “PH: We are not the World’s Dumpsite” showed their strong opposition to foreign waste dumping.

The group said the reshipment of the waste export from Hong Kong and the 69 container vans of Canadian garbage were long overdue.

Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT)  port collector John Simon supervised the re-export to Hong Kong of at least 2.561 tons of mixed plastic waste packed in 22 sling bags that were wrongly declared as “assorted electronic accessories.”

The unwanted wastes will be returned to Hong Kong through the container ship SITC Nagoya.

“In line with the mission of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) to strengthen efforts against smuggling and other customs fraud, we are returning this unlawful shipment to protect our nation’s health and the environment,” Simon said.

The illegal waste cargoes entering the country according to Simon, were very disturbing and this alarming trend is totally unacceptable and should discontinue as soon as possible.

EWC national coordinator Aileen Lucero said by quickly returning the illegal waste shipment and skipping bureaucratic delay, the Philippines is sending a clear and unambiguous warning to waste traffickers to stop shipping garbage into the country’s ports.

“We heaved a sigh of relief as the entry of some 70 containers of similar trash was aborted with the seizure of this test cargo,” Lucero added.

To protect Mindanao and the entire country from turning into a global dumping ground, the EcoWaste Coalition renewed its call for a comprehensive and immediate ban on waste imports and for the rapid ratification of the Basel Ban Amendment.