Sen. Bongbong files resolution to investigate Canadian trash

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. wants a thorough Senate investigation on the dumping of Canadian garbage in the Philippines.

Marcos’ call for a Senate inquiry in aid of legislation was contained in Senate Resolution 1449. It aims to institute more stringent measures to protect public health and the environment from toxic and hazardous materials as well as ensure environmentally sound waste management.

Marcos, chair of the Senate Committee on Local Government and concurrent member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, was puzzled why foreign trash, feared to contain toxic and hazardous materials, ended up in Philippine soil.

The garbage was shipped to the Philippines in July 2013, although the Philippines ratified in 1993, and Canada in 1992, the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes that prohibits the trade of toxic and hazardous wastes unless a country consents to it.

Waste disposal in the Philippines is also strictly regulated by Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and Republic Act 6969, or the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Control Act. The Constitution also calls on the state to protect and promote people’s right to health and their right to a balanced and healthy ecology.

“It is crucial to scrutinize the policy of the government in allowing the foreign-sourced trash into local landfills in order to assess and enhance viable mechanisms to protect our people from the health perils brought about by the gargantuan rubbish literally thrown into our backyard at the expense of our people,” Marcos said in the resolution.

Marcos was in Tarlac Provincial Capitol earlier and had a dialogue with local officials led by Gov. Victor Yap and Vice Gov. Enrique “Kit” Cojuangco, who reported to him that at least 26 container vans of the Canadian garbage had already been unloaded in a private landfill in Sitio Kalangitan, Capas, Tarlac operated by the private firm Metro Clark Waste Management Corp.

The meeting was also attended by Rep. Susan Yap (2nd District, Tarlac), Gerona town Mayor Dennis Go, president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Tarlac chapter; provincial board members, other municipal mayors, vice mayors, councilors, barangay captains, and concerned groups.

“We have to ask (in the Senate probe) whether it is already the policy of the government to import garbage. If it’s not a policy, how did the trash from Canada find its way to the Philippines?” Marcos said.

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