QC Council Urged: “Take a Stand vs Foreign Waste Dumping in Payatas” (20 Groups Back Proposed Resolution)

Environmental, labor and women’s groups
urged the Quezon City Council to fast track the unanimous adoption of a
resolution that will serve as a deterrent against any move to dump Canadian
garbage in Payatas.
Proposed Resolution No. 19CC-1131, introduced by District
1 Councilor Dorothy Delarmente, seeks to “express strong disapproval against
any plan to dispose foreign waste at the Payatas Sanitary Landfill.”
Backing the City Council’s approval of the resolution were Quezon City-based
groups such as Ang NARS, Arugaan, Associated Labor Unions-TUCP, Bangon
Kalikasan Movement, Ban Toxics, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino-NCR, Citizens’
Organizations Concerned with Advocating Philippine Environmental Sustainability,
EcoWaste Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Green
Convergence, Greenpeace,  Health Care
Without Harm, Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment, Mother Earth
Foundation, Oceana Philippines, Piglas Kababaihan, Public Services Labor
Independent Confederation, Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa,
WomanHealth Philippines and Zero Waste Philippines.

“The resolution, which is not contentious at all, should
be swiftly passed by the councilors to send a clear signal that garbage imports
from Canada and elsewhere will not be allowed in Payatas,” said Aileen Lucero,
Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
“Its passage is one great gift that the councilors can
give as the city marks on August 19 the 137th birth anniversary of former Pres.
Manuel Luis Quezon after whom the city was named.   They will surely earn ‘ganda’ and ‘pogi’
points for saying ‘no’ against dumping,” she said.
“Whether hazardous or not, as some quarters would claim,
the controversial garbage would not qualify as ‘municipal waste’ because it’s
not locally generated,” she added.
Republic Act 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management
Act, defines “municipal waste as wastes produced from activities within local
government units.”
“Like the Tarlac Provincial Board, we appeal to the QC
Council to take a patriotic and precautionary stand versus foreign waste
dumping in Payatas and the Philippines for that matter,” Lucero stated.
According to the proposed resolution, “the Bureau of
Customs is reportedly scurrying for alternative sites where the illegal garbage
imports from Canada can be disposed of after Tarlac and Bulacan officials have
raised legitimate objections to foreign waste being dumped in local landfills.”
“The Quezon City Council finds the dumping of foreign
waste into our country as totally inexcusable and unacceptable and demands that
such unethical and unlawful act be brought a halt,” the proposed resolution
From June 2013 to January 2014, a total of 103 shipping
containers of mixed garbage from Canada misdeclared as “plastic scraps” for
recycling were illegally exported to the Philippines.
Trash from 26 of these containers were dumped at a landfill
in Capas, Tarlac from June 26 to July 8 without authorization from the
provincial government, prompting the local authorities to immediately stop
further dumping of the foreign garbage in the facility. 
Such illegal importation of garbage contravenes national
and international laws, including the Tariff and Customs Code of the
Philippines, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Administrative
Order 1994-28 (Interim Guidelines for the Importation of Recyclable Materials
Containing Hazardous Substances), Republic Act 6969 (Toxic Substances and
Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act) and Republic Act 9003 (Ecological
Solid Waste Management Act), as well as the Basel Convention on the Control of
Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, which also
covers “wastes collected from households.