Over 100 Public Interest Groups Back Miriam’s Move to Prevent Hazardous Waste Dumping from Overseas

Quezon City. Over 100 public
interest groups across the country have thrown their support behind a
well-timed proposal by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago for legislative action
against waste dumping from overseas.

Senator Santiago yesterday filed resolution number 919 calling for an inquiry
in aid of legislation “to decisively prevent illegal waste dumping from abroad”
amid the long drawn-out problem with the 50 container vans of hazardous waste
shipment from Canada that are still sitting in Manila’s port and leaking
garbage juice.

Senator Santiago cited “the ratification of the ‘Basel Convention Ban
Amendment’ and other legal measures to protect the country from becoming a
global dump for hazardous wastes.”

The “Ban Amendment” to the “Basel Convention on the Transboundary Movement of
Hazardous Wastes,” introduced in 1995, prohibits highly industrialized
countries from exporting hazardous wastes to developing countries “for final
disposal, reuse, recycling and recovery.” The “Basel Convention Ban Amendment”
has yet to enter into force.

The proposal from the feisty senator drew instant cheers from a broad array of
academic, environmental, legal, religious and diverse people’s organizations
from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and the National Capital Region.  

“Unless the Philippine government ratifies the Basel Ban amendment and reflects
its intent in our national laws, the country will continue to be a recipient of
hazardous garbage from overseas, made possible under the guise of recycling or
recovery,” said Von Hernandez, President of the EcoWaste Coalition and Executive
Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

“As we have seen with the Canadian waste shipments, unscrupulous waste traders
are exploiting that recycling loophole to accomplish and justify this
reprehensible practice. We are already struggling to manage the wastes being
generated within our shores. Why should we allow other nations to treat the
Philippines as their dumpsite?,” he added.

“With Miriam at the helm of the
Committee on Foreign Relations, we expect the Senate to grant its concurrence
to the Basel Ban Amendment without delay.  Protecting our nation from the
real threat of hazardous waste dumping is a patriotic duty that should unite
all the senators.  The early ratification would surely boost the Senate’s
sagging public approval ratings,” said Sonia Mendoza, Chairman, Mother Earth

Among the leading environmental advocacy networks backing Senator Santiago’s
proposal for decisive measures to put a stop to hazardous waste dumping were
Aksyon Klima, Cavite Green Coalition, EcoWaste Coalition, Green Convergence and
the Save Sierra Madre Network Alliance.

Lawyers Harry Roque of the UP Center for International Law and the UP
Institute of International Legal Studies, Marlon Manuel of the Alternative Law
Groups and Gloria Estenzo-Ramos of Oceana Philippines also support
Senator Santiago’s action to resolutely end hazardous waste

backing Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago’s call for “inquiry, in aid of
legislation, on ways to decisively prevent illegal waste dumping from abroad,
including the ratification of the ‘Basel Convention Ban Amendment’ and other
legal measures to protect the country from becoming a global dump for hazardous

Akbayan Youth
Advocates for Environmental and Social
Aksyon Klima
Alliance of Ex-Seminarians
Angkan ng Mandirigma
Associates of St. Catherine of Siena
Bangon Kalikasan Movement
Ban Toxics
Batangas 2 Fisherman Association
Buklod Kabataan
Buklod Tao
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino –
Cavite Green Coalition
Citizens’ Organzation Concerned with
Advocating Philippine Environmental Sustainability
Consumer Rights for Safe Food
Cycle for Life
Cycling Advocates
Diocese of Kalookan Ministry of Ecology
Earth Island Institute
Ecolodians of Saint Louis University
Ecological Society of the Philippines
Episcopal Commission on Indigenous
Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
Alliance -Philippines
Global Alliance for Incinerator
Green Convergence
Greenpeace – Southeast Asia
HANE Health Advocates, Nueva Ecija
Health Care Without Harm – Southeast
Health Futures Foundation
Institute for the Development of
Educational and Ecological Alternatives
Krusada sa Kalikasan
La Sallian Community Development Center
Legal Rights and Natural Resources
Lingkod Tao-Kalikasan
Malikhaing Landas na Magpapayabong sa
Sining at Kultura
Ministri ng Pamamahala sa Kalikasan –
Our Lady of Pillar Parish
Ministri ng Pamamahalasa Kalikasan –
San Jose Manggagawa
Miriam Public Education and Awareness
Campaign for the Environment
Mother Earth Foundation
Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Maguyam
Nagkakaisang Mananambakan sa Dumpsite
November 17 Movement
Nueva Ecija Women Leaders Coalition
Obando Kami ay Para sa Iyo
Oceana Philippines
Outreach Philippines, Inc.
PAKISAMA National Confederation of
Small Farmers and Fishers Organizations
Partido Kalikasan
Partnership for Clean Air
Pesticide Action Network – Philippines
Philippine Animal Welfare Society
Philippine Pollution Monitor
Philippines for Natural Farming, Inc.
Prelature of Infanta-Community
Organization of the Philippines, Inc.
Sagip Sierra Madre Environmental
Society, Inc.
Sagip Pasig Movement
Samahang Muling Pagkabuhay Cooperative
Samahang Pagkakaisa ng mgaTindera
Samahan ng Kababaihan ng Batangas 2
Samahan ng Kababaihan tungo sa
Kaunlaran, Cavite
Sanib-Lakas ng Inang Kalikasan
SARILAYA, Nueva Ecija
Save Sierra Madre Network Alliance,
Save Waters of Indang Movement, Inc.
Shoreline Kabalikat sa Kaunlaran
Sining Yapak
Stewards of God’s Creation
Think Green Initiative
Upholding Life and Nature
UP Center for International Law
UP Institute of International Legal
Zero Waste Philippines
Zero Waste Recycling Movement of the
Youth for Environment and Social
Atty. Marlon Manuel (National
Coordinator, Alternative Law Groups)
Students of Earth Science Class,
Adventist University of the Philippines
4K Foundation

Action for Nurturing Children and the
Freedom from Debt Coalition – Cebu
Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang
Lungsod – Cebu
Lihok Filipina – Cebu
Ligdung Sumbanan Alang sa Kabataan sa
Office of Councilor Nida Cabrera, Cebu
Philippine Earth Justice Center
Teachers’ Dignity Coalition – Cebu
Amavel Foundation
Balingaeng Agrarian Reform
Beneficiaries Association
Biao Joaquin Agrarian Reform
Beneficiaries Cooperative
Biao Joaquin Farmers Reform Beneficiaries
Cacao Nurturing Network
Davao Oriental Coconut & Cacao
Industry Development Coalition
Go Organic  Davao City
Go Organic Mindanao
Inayangan Farmers Association
Interface Development Interventions
Kinaiyahan Foundation
Mamamayan  Ayaw sa Aerial Spraying
Mt. Tipulog Bantay Kinaiyahan
Association Inc.,
Panaghugpong sa mga Samohanteug Kabussa
Kabanikanhan Alang sa Kausaban
Polocon People’s Multi-Purpose
Saloy Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative