Legarda: Canada Should Take Back Its Waste

September 9, 2015

“Taking back their waste is the only option,” said Senator Loren Legarda today at the hearing of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources on the container vans containing household wastes that were shipped from Canada to the Philippines.

“Canada is a signatory to the Basel Convention. As part of their commitment to the Convention, they should take back their waste. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) should maintain their firm stand on the return of the waste, and Canada, either the government or the private firm, should fund it,” she stressed.

Legarda noted that the 1992 Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, which Canada and the Philippines ratified in the years 1992 and 1993, respectively, includes household waste as among the strictly controlled materials provided for under Annex II of the Convention and calls for prior notification and consent of the receiving country before being exported by a sending country.

The Senator also said that a similar situation happened in the past when a private Japanese firm declared that the 122 containers it sent to the Philippines contained recyclable paper, but actually had medical and household waste.

“In 1999, the Japanese government funded the return of the 122 containers containing medical and household waste exported to the Philippines by a private firm. If Japan was able to do it, I am certain that Canada can also do it and would have the resources to do so,” said Legarda.

She added that entry and eventual dumping of waste from Canada to the country is also against our national laws, including R.A. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

“We are calling for the effective implementation of our own laws and we cannot let other countries violate them. The Philippines is not the trash bin of the world. If the option to bring back the waste to Canada is difficult, sorry, but that is the only acceptable option,” said Legarda.