Groups Appeal on “Canada Day”: Please Take Back Your Garbage

As Canadians celebrate “Canada
Day” today, July 1, a local environmental group and a party-list group pressed
the affluent country not to forget their illegal garbage exports that have been
languishing at Manila and Subic  ports
for years.

In a joint statement, the
EcoWaste Coalition and the Ang NARS Party-List reiterated the urgency of
removing the 98 shipping containers of plastic scraps and other residual
garbage out of our
national territory.
The first case consisting
of 50 container vans of garbage shipped to Chronic Plastics based in Valenzuela
City arrived in the country in six batches beginning June to August 2013, while
the second case comprising of 48 container vans imported by Live Green
Enterprise located in San Fernando City, Pampanga were sent in four batches
from December 2013 to January 2014.
“As Canadians mark their
national day, we request them to tell their government not to turn a deaf ear
and a blind eye to our relentless plea for environmental justice,” said Aileen
Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
Lucero added: “Please ask
your government to take back the unlawful garbage shipments to bring this
long-running controversy to a close,” as she begged nature-loving Canadians for
For her part, Ang NARS
Party-List Representative Leah Samaco Paquiz, said: “The immediate
re-importation of the Canada garbage will conclude a stinking chapter in
Canada-Philippine relations that has sparked fiery protest on the streets as
well as online.”
The unsettled controversy
had also prompted other lawmakers, as well as church and labor leaders to weigh
in on the matter, with Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago expressing “alarm that
the government seems willing to say that we are an international trash bin out
of fear of
ruffling Canada’s
“The decision to process
the waste in the Philippines upon the request of the Canadian government sets a
dangerous precedent for other countries to dump their waste in Philippine soil
with impunity,” Santiago said.
The controversy had also
elicited critical responses from Canadian environmentalists and from thousands
of Canadian citizens who have signed an online petition at change.org.
“We as people of Canada
are deeply embarrassed at how government policies here have caused such bad
behaviour by some towards the environment and the good people of the
Philippines.  This is a disgrace.  The governments of Canada have created such
collection methods that
the materials collected are often so badly contaminated many of the greedy
haulers think they can export our mess onto other nations,” said Buddy Boyd of
Zero Waste Canada.