Drilon’s Senate Bill No. 18 titled Waste Importation Ban Act of 2019 seeks to prohibit waste imports, including recyclable materials, from entering the Philippines.
Geremy Pintolo
Drilon calls for total ban on waste imports
Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) - July 7, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon has called for a total ban on all waste imports and heavier fines or imprisonment of up to 12 years against violators.

Drilon’s Senate Bill No. 18 titled Waste Importation Ban Act of 2019 seeks to prohibit waste imports, including recyclable materials, from entering the Philippines.

The proposal came in the wake of reports that the country is gradually becoming a dump for foreign waste.

Drilon cited how the recent garbage from Canada found its way to the Philippines, saying the country has become a cross boundary disposal site of unwanted and toxic shipments of waste from Australia, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan.

Despite the passage of several laws intended to protect the country from being a destination of imported waste, Drilon said these garbage continue to enter the country to the detriment of the people and the environment.

“These incidents indicate that we have become a dumping ground for waste generated by other nations. We must fix our laws that allowed that to happen,” Drilon said.

“We must then prohibit the importation of all kinds of waste or scrap, including recyclable materials. We should never allow our country to be a dumpsite,” he added.

The senator said his bill prohibits even recyclable materials from entering the Philippines, noting how unscrupulous individuals took advantage of the loopholes in the existing laws to bring other nations’ garbage into the country.

Drilon’s bill mandates that all imported wastes should immediately be brought back to the country of origin at the expense of the consignor or importer.

“The passage of this measure will no doubt stop the waste trade in the country and send a clear message to other countries that the Philippines is not a landfill,” he said.

Under SB 18, any person who misdeclares or brings waste into the Philippines, or assists in the importation of waste products,would face stiffer penalties.

“Violators may be fined with up to P15 million and/or imprisoned for eight to 12 years,” Drilon said, adding if the offender is a foreigner, he should be deported after serving the sentence.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Bureau of Customs should strictly monitor the importation and enforce tighter regulations to avoid shipment of waste, including recyclable materials, into the country.

FRANKLIN DRILON WASTE IMPORTS
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