By Jefferson Antiporda | The Manila Times
Puzzled by the government’s unclear policy on foreign trash being dumped on Philippine soil, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Friday filed a resolution asking the proper Senate committee to investigate the matter and come up with stringent measures to protect public health and the environment against imported garbage.
In filing Senate Resolution (SR) 1449, Marcos cited the need to scrutinize the policy of the government in allowing foreign solid waste into local landfills to ensure the safety of the public against toxic and hazardous materials entering the country.
The chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government particularly pointed to the dumping of 26 container vans of the Canadian garbage in a private landfill in Capas, Tarlac, operated by the private firm Metro Clark Waste Management Corp.
“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?” asked Marcos, also a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.
He wondered why dumping of foreign waste here is being allowed despite existence of Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act ,and RA 6969, or the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Control Act.
Even the Philippine Constitution, Marcos said, calls on the state to protect and promote the 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,” he stated in the resolution.
The proposed Senate investigation, Marcos said, should also seek to institute stricter measures to protect public health and the environment from toxic and hazardous materials as well as ensure environmentally sound waste management.
Aside from Marcos, Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito also filed SR 1440 seeking immediate investigation in aid of legislation to prevent the incident from happening again.
Ejercito said the government should give utmost consideration to this issue in order to save the country from imported hazardous waste.
The lawmaker wants the chamber to investigate the 98 container vans seized at the Manila International Container Port containing waste plastic materials imported from Canada that arrived between June 2013 and January 2014.
“Despite clear violation of international and domestic laws of the Philippines, the toxic and hazardous waste is still rotting on Philippine soil and continues to endanger lives,” Ejercito said.