01 July 2015

Groups Appeal on “Canada Day”: Please Take Back Your Garbage


As Canadians celebrate “Canada Day” today, July 1, a local environmental group and a party-list group pressed the affluent country not to forget their illegal garbage exports that have been languishing at Manila and Subic  ports for years.

In a joint statement, the EcoWaste Coalition and the Ang NARS Party-List reiterated the urgency of removing the 98 shipping containers of plastic scraps and other residual garbage out of our
national territory.

The first case consisting of 50 container vans of garbage shipped to Chronic Plastics based in Valenzuela City arrived in the country in six batches beginning June to August 2013, while the second case comprising of 48 container vans imported by Live Green Enterprise located in San Fernando City, Pampanga were sent in four batches from December 2013 to January 2014.

“As Canadians mark their national day, we request them to tell their government not to turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to our relentless plea for environmental justice,” said Aileen Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

Lucero added: “Please ask your government to take back the unlawful garbage shipments to bring this long-running controversy to a close,” as she begged nature-loving Canadians for solidarity.

For her part, Ang NARS Party-List Representative Leah Samaco Paquiz, said: “The immediate re-importation of the Canada garbage will conclude a stinking chapter in Canada-Philippine relations that has sparked fiery protest on the streets as well as online.”

The unsettled controversy had also prompted other lawmakers, as well as church and labor leaders to weigh in on the matter, with Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago expressing “alarm that the government seems willing to say that we are an international trash bin out of fear of
ruffling Canada’s feathers.”

“The decision to process the waste in the Philippines upon the request of the Canadian government sets a dangerous precedent for other countries to dump their waste in Philippine soil with impunity,” Santiago said.

The controversy had also elicited critical responses from Canadian environmentalists and from thousands of Canadian citizens who have signed an online petition at change.org.

“We as people of Canada are deeply embarrassed at how government policies here have caused such bad behaviour by some towards the environment and the good people of the Philippines.  This is a disgrace.  The governments of Canada have created such horrible
collection methods that the materials collected are often so badly contaminated many of the greedy haulers think they can export our mess onto other nations,” said Buddy Boyd of Zero Waste Canada.


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