Press Release
July 16, 2015


Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" R. Marcos, Jr. is seeking a Senate investigation into the dumping of waste illegally shipped from Canada in the sanitary landfill operated by the Metro Clark Waste Management Corp. in Capas, Tarlac.

Marcos called for the probe after a meeting Wednesday at the provincial capitol with Tarlac officials, led by Gov. Victor Yap, where they sought his assistance on the issue. Other officials at the meeting were Vice-governor Enrique Cojuangco, Tarlac Rep. Susan Yap (2nd District), and Gerona town Mayor Dennis Go, who is the president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Tarlac chapter.

Vice-governor Cojuangco said they would formalize their complaint through a provincial board resolution that they will send to the senator.

"We object to any kind of illegal dumping of wastes, be it local or foreign. But this seems to be one of the worst cases that we have heard about na parang lumalabas na nag-iismuggle tayo ng basura papasok sa Pilipinas. Saan ka naman nakarinig ng ganun?" Marcos told the local media.

Following reports that 26 out of the 50 containers of waste shipped from Canada in 2013 had already been dumped in the landfill the Tarlac, the provincial government has ordered a stop to any further disposal of garbage.

Another batch of 48 container vans of trash shipped by the same exporter was discovered in Subic port.

Marcos stressed the need to ensure the welfare of Tarlac residents and also to prevent the Philippines from earning the dubious reputation as garbage importer.

He said that as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, he can ask for a Senate investigation into the dumping of Canadian garbage based on the provincial board's resolution.

"We also heard reports the dumping is being done in secret, during the night. We don't even know the content of the trucks hauling the waste, whether it is ordinary household garbage, medical waste, or toxic waste. That's something we have to look into," Marcos said.

The senator is alarmed that with more stringent regulations on waste disposal in other countries, particularly in Europe, similar shipments could find their way into Philippine ports in the future.

"Waste disposal in Europe has become very expensive that it would be cheaper to ship the garbage anywhere where it would be accepted. But why should we accept garbage, and who is making money here, notwithstanding the health risks this may pose to our people?" Marcos said.

"Before the situation gets worse, we should investigate this issue. If necessary, we must amend our laws and impose more stringent regulations so that we won't be known all over the world as a garbage importer," he added.

The Philippines and Canada are signatories to the 1992 Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes that prohibits the export of toxic or hazardous wastes. As of January 2015, 182 states and the European Union are parties to the Convention.

Aside from the dumping of Canadian waste, Marcos said the Senate probe will also tackle the growing problem of waste disposal in the country.

"I think this will serve to highlight the problem that we have around the country on waste disposal. We have to address this issue now because it's not only the big cities having this problem but even the small towns," Marcos noted.

The senator said there is a need to strictly enforce RA 9003 "The Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000" and formulate a cohesive national strategy on waste disposal, one which would require the participation of every local government unit.

"We need to study this matter thoroughly and provide the necessary funding for such a program. We also need to train our local government officials on the best practices and system of garbage disposal, which will have the least impact on the environment," Marcos said.

Before the meeting with the local officials of the province, Marcos was in Holy Cross College in Concepcion town where he spoke in a forum focusing mainly on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), with about a thousand students in attendance.

At the same forum, Marcos was accompanied by Vice-governor Cojuangco, Tarlac Rep. Noel Villanueva (3rd District), as well as Concepcion Mayor Andres Lacson and his vice-mayor, Danilo David.

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