PH evironmentalists calls on Manila court to implement order to return hazardous trash to Canada

Environmentalist demanding Canada to take back its trash. Photo © philstar.com

A MANILA court order to return the illegally imported Canadian trash to its point of origin remains to be complied with, over a year after the decree was issued.

“Over 14 months have already gone by and the court order remains unheeded,” laments Aileen Lucero, national coordinator of the Philippine based environment and public health watchdog EcoWaste Coalition, which is one of the intervenors to Criminal Case No. 14-1311191 against trash importer Adelfa Eduardo of Chronic Plastics and customs broker Sherjun Saldon.

“The intervenors are one with the prosecution in imploring the court to direct the importers to carry out the order. The misdeclared residual trash imports have nowhere to go, but Canada,” Lucero said.

The defendants Eduardo et al were hauled to the court for ciolation of RA. 6969 (the Toxic Substances, Hazardous and Nucelear Wastes Control Act) in relation to DENR A.O. 28-1994 and DENR A.O. 29-1992.

On June 30, 2016, Manila Regional Trial Court Judge Tita Bughao Alisuag directed Eduardo et al to return fifty container vans of the mixed trash shipments to Canada in accordance with Republic Act 6969, or the Toxic Substances, Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act.

In finding the defendants guilty of violating local environmental laws, Judge Alisuag noted in her ruling that “our country (the Philippines) should not be made a trash bin by (an)other country,” which “will violate equally important environmental laws such as R.A. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and RA. 9275 or the Clean Water Act.”

The court further ordered the return of 50 container vans of garbage “back to Canada, the place of its origin,” stressing that the Philippines is not a “trash bin” and that the incident” should not be made a precedent for other countries to follow.”

Section 14 (Criminal Offenses and Penalties) of RA. 6969 states that: “the person or firm responsible or connected with the bringing or importation into the country of hazardous or nuclear wastes shall be under obligation to transport or send back said prohibited wastes.”

In siding with the intervenors, the Court also said “the (local) disposal and destruction of the wastes will violate equally important environmental laws…”

Imported Canadian trash. Photo © eco-business.com

A total of 103 shipping containers of mixed garbage from Canada disguised as scrap plastics for recycling arrived in Manila ports in 2013-2014 and intercepted by the Bureau of Customs.

As certified by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, “the contents of the container vans imported by Chronic Plastics are bailed municipal wastes or garbage for immediate local disposal and cannot be recycled.

However, twenty six of these garbage-filled containers were illicitly disposed of in 2015 at the privately-run Metro Clark landfill in Capas, Tarlac infuriating local authorities and residents.

Read More:

Canadian trash importers urged to comply with the court’s “Return to Origin” order

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  1. Pingback: Stop the transfer of toxic wastes from developed to less developed countries!!! - Duterte Daily

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