8 May 2019, Quezon City. In a bid to avoid further delay in the re-export of the reeking Canadian garbage in Manila and Subic ports, the EcoWaste Coalition today appealed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to do what is needed to expedite the processing of the necessary importation documents.
“While our government is ‘ready with the necessary documentary requirements to facilitate the re-export’ as confirmed by our Bureau of Customs (BOC), there is concern that the Canadian side might not meet the May 15 goal for the re-shipment of wastes to the Port of Vancouver,” wrote Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
“In order to comply with our government’s May 15 deadline for the re-shipment of the wastes, we appeal to your government to give priority consideration to the processing of the required documents such as the import permit,” she said.
In a report to Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said “despite the Philippine government’s readiness to re-export the wastes, the Canadian government informed that it might take weeks for them to arrange the necessary documents from their end and that they might not meet the May 15 deadline.”
In a statement issued yesterday, the DOF confirmed “the Philippines is prepared to return 69 container vans of garbage to Canada by May 15 but bureaucratic red tape in the Canadian government has slowed down the process of re-exporting the trash back to their country.”
According to the BOC, the processing of the requirements by the Canadian government could take “a couple of weeks.”
Lucero also took the opportunity to convey her group’s appreciation to ongoing efforts to ship back the overstaying Canadian garbage following stern warning from President Rodrigo Duterte last April 23.
“We thank the government of Canada for heeding the demand of our own government and people to finally resolve the illegal waste traffic of 103 container vans that has soured relations between our countries,” she said.
“The removal of your wastes in our land will put this long standing dumping controversy to a close, and open up a new chapter in our nations’ bilateral relations,” she added.
In a related development, the EcoWaste Coalition urged the BOC to set the record straight with respect to the Canadian wastes that have already been disposed of locally.
Based on information given by the BOC to the EcoWaste Coalition, Canada-based Chronic Inc. exported 103 container vans in several batches to two Philippine-based companies, Chronic Plastic and Live Green Enterprise, from 2013 to 2014.
According to their inventory, 34 of the 103 containers have been locally disposed of, and only 69 containers are to be shipped back to Canada.
Of the 69 containers remaining, two are at the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) and 67 are at the Subic Bay International Terminal Corporation (SBITC), according to the BOC
To recall, wastes from 26 containers were emptied into a private landfill in Capas, Tarlac in 2015 angering local officials and their constituents. Because of the public uproar, eight containers were returned to the BOC.
The EcoWaste Coalition is seeking clarification as to how the eight containers were disposed of.
“We are keen to know what happened to the Canadian wastes from the eight containers. The authorities need to tell the public when, where and how the wastes were disposed of and who paid for their disposal. We, the people, have the right to know,” Lucero said.