Photo Courtesy of Bureau of Customs
the customs authorities against persons responsible for the botched importation
of hazardous garbage from Canada drew positive reaction from a waste and
pollution watchdog group.
The EcoWaste Coalition welcomed the legal action taken by Bureau of Customs
(BOC) Commissioner John Sevilla against Adelfa Eduardo, owner of the Valenzuela
City-based Chronic Plastics and Leonora Flores and Sherjun Saldon, the
company’s licensed customs brokers.
The three were charged yesterday before the Department of Justice for violations
of the Revised Penal Code, the Tariff and Customs Code and Republic 6969, or
the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990,
which bans the importation of hazardous waste into the country.
“Importing hazardous trash in the guise of recycling is not only totally devious
and criminal, but a direct affront to our nation’s dignity, health and
sovereignty. It is one of the most heinous of environmental crimes that
must never happen again,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste
“We therefore welcome the filing of charges against the offenders and urge the
judiciary to mete out the maximum punishment possible to send an unambiguous message
to waste smugglers and traders that the Philippines is not and will never be
the landfill to the world,” she declared.
“We will keenly monitor the case as its outcome could help in preventing future
attempts to bring hazardous waste into our shores,” she stated.
Lucero announced that the EcoWaste Coalition will create an ad hoc group to
specifically follow the proceedings and observe the delivery of justice.
As the case is heard, the EcoWaste Coalition urged the government to ensure the
immediate return of the intercepted 50 container vans of garbage to Canada at
the expense of Chronic Plastics.
“The BOC is our nation’s frontline defense against the dumping of dangerous
products and wastes, and we expect our customs inspectors to foil all smuggling
bids and keep our economy and environment safe, especially from biological and
chemical hazards,” she stated.
To help the BOC effectively repel hazardous waste dumping, the EcoWaste
Coalition renewed its call for the government to ratify the Basel Ban
While Canada and the Philippines are parties to the Basel Convention, neither
has ratified the Basel Ban Amendment, which bans the export of hazardous waste
from developed to developing countries for recycling, disposal and other
Ratifying the Basel Ban Amendment will protect the Philippines from being a
dumping group by shifting the burden of preventing toxic waste exports to toxic
waste generators like Canada, the EcoWaste Coalition said.