Ship Back Canada’s Toxic Waste to Help Decongest Manila’s Ports

An environmental watchdog has put forward a quick
solution, albeit a partial one, to the much debated congestion in the ports of
“To partly help in decongesting the ports, the Canadian authorities,
in the spirit of solidarity, should cause the immediate return of the 50
containers of toxic waste to their country, which have been lounging there for
months,” said Aileen Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
“It’s not only a matter of freeing up port space.
Returning the toxic shipments to the sender will help bring the controversy to
a close and see the triumph of environmental justice,” she said.
“We therefore reiterate our request to Ambassador Neil
Reeder to take back Canada’s perilous garbage now,” she added. 
Last April 2014, environmentalists asked the Canadian
government through its Embassy in Makati City to take back the hazardous
garbage originally declared as plastic scraps for recycling, which started
arriving at the ports in June 2013.
Subsequent inspection by customs officers led to the
discovery of the botched attempt to import mixed garbage by Chronic Plastics
(the consignee) through Chronic Inc. (the shipper.)
Smuggling charges were filed in February 2014 against the
Valenzuela City-based company and its proprietors for violations of the Toxic
Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990,
the Revised Penal Code and the Tariff and Customs Code.
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, the EcoWaste Coalition said.
Last Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce
and Entrepreneurship conducted its first public hearing in aid of legislation
to address the congestion at the Port of Manila (POM) and Manila International
Container Port (MICP).
As per Resolution 808 filed by Senator Francis
Escudero,  “the congestion  has 
caused  local  and 
international vessels  the
inability  to  dock 
and  unload  their 
cargoes  at  the 
POM  and  MICP, making 
major  shipping  lines 
to  boycott  the 
ports  of  Manila 
due  to  lack 
of available berthing spaces.”
“Concerned sectors submit that the congestion is due to,
among others, the number of empty containers owned by shipping lines in the
ports occupying fifty percent (50%) of the containers yards,” the senator said.
Last week, some truckers and customs brokers held protest
actions in front of the Asian Terminals Inc. and various national and local
government agencies to denounce the seeming inaction to solve the congestion in
Manila’s ports.