The Cavite Green Coalition and the EcoWaste Coalition today urged the government to penalize to the full extent of the law the parties behind the dumping of 429 drums of toxic wastes in a private lot at Barangay Pangil, Amadeo, Cavite.
“We expect Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje to order the Environmental Management Bureau to file charges against VYA Trading (the transporter) and its cohorts for breach of Republic Act 6969 as well as Republic Act 9003,” said Ochie Tolentino, Coordinator of the Cavite Green Coalition.
R.A. 6969, or the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act and R.A. 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, are two of the country’s major environmental laws governing the management of wastes, including their disposal.
R.A. 6969, in particular, seeks "to monitor and regulate the importation, manufacture, processing, handling, storage, transportation, sale, distribution, use and disposal of chemical substances and mixtures that present unreasonable risk or injury to health or to the environment.”
“As this is not the first toxic waste dumping incident in our province, we urge the national and local authorities to ensure that those responsible for the foiled dumping of huge quantities of hazardous wastes in Amadeo will receive maximum fines and penalties to serve as warning to others,” Tolentino said.
Tolentino recalled that in 2011, over 60 drums of toxic wastes were illegally dumped in a private lot in Barangay Langkaan, Dasmariñas, Cavite.
Aileen Lucero, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition, echoed the Cavite Green Coalition’s call for environmental justice, reiterating that “no community deserves to be poisoned.”
“The culprits should be held liable to the full extent of the law to send a clear message that environmental crime does not pay,” she said.
Both the Cavite Green Coalition and the EcoWaste Coalition commended the Amadeo local government and police authorities for their swift action that led to the discovery of the botched dumping operation.
Both groups requested all citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance to thwart attempts to dump hazardous wastes onto their communities.
“Be on the lookout for any suspicious movement of waste materials in your neighborhood and promptly report it to the authorities,” the groups suggested.