In this 2017 file photo, EcoWaste Coalition protest the tons of garbage shipped from South Korea.
The STAR/KrizJohn Rosales
Pimentel: Philippines not a dumping ground for foreign trash
(Philstar.com) - January 6, 2019 - 2:35pm

MANILA, Philippines — The issue of trash from Canada that was shipped to the Philippines from 2013 to 2014 needs to be revisited, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III said Sunday as he stressed the country is not a dumping ground for garbage.

Pimentel made the statement as the Philippines prepares to send back 6,500 tons of waste that was shipped to the Mindanao International Container Port in Tagaloan, Misamis Oriental from South Korea last year. South Korea has committed to taking the trash, which had been misdeclared as plastic for furniture reprocessing, back.

RELATED: Trash from South Korea to be sent back next week, BOC official says

"As far as I'm aware, as of January 2018, the matter has yet to be resolved. The Canadian prime minister promised to resolve the matter when he went here for the 31st ASEAN Summit in November 2017. There's been no follow through ever since. We need immediate and concrete action on this," Pimentel said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in November 2017 that his country is committed to solving the issue of garbage from Canada that was shipped to the Philippines

He said, however, that there are issues that have to be settled like who will pay for shipping the garbage back and who will be held responsible for the garbage mess, which, he stressed, was a commercial transaction that did not involve the governments of Canada or the Philippines.

READ: 'Trudeau’s PR stunts can’t conceal Canada’s trash dumping in the Philippines'

"We're not someone else's dumping ground. The Philippines should assert its dignity and co-equal standing as a sovereign state in the community of nations. We should not be seen as a recipient, officially or unofficially, of waste material coming from other countries," Pimentel said.

The senator said that the Bureau of Customs and other agencies should file charges against those responsible for bringing in misdeclared trash into the country.

"Let's ensure that this brazen act is not tolerated and in fact punished to the fullest extent of the law, particularly our Tariff and Customs Code and possibly the Toxic Substance and Hazardous Wastes and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990," he said.

"If foreign-based entities and even foreign governments see and treat the Philippines as a final destination for their unwanted waste material, that speaks volumes of the way we are seen abroad. This should not be tolerated," the senator also said.

AQUILINO PIMENTEL III JUSTIN TRUDEAU SOUTH KOREA GARBAGE
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