MANILA - "The Philippines is not a dumping ground of other countries."
With these words, Customs Commissioner John "Sunny" Sevilla said the bureau is filing a case against Chronic Plastics for shipping tons of garbage from Canada to the Philippines.
Sevilla said the shipment violates the Tariffs and Customs Code and several environmental laws.
"Hindi po basurahan ng ibang bansa ang Pilipinas...Hinding-hindi po tayo dapat pumayag at hinding-hindi papayag ang Bureau of Customs na tayo ay maging basurahan ng mundo," Sevilla said.
Customs Deputy Commissioner for Enforcement Group Ariel Nepomuceno earlier said the shipment was declared as plastic scraps. Upon inspection, Customs found out that the shipment contained a mixture of different household garbage that included adult diapers and not just empty plastic containers.
The shipment was loaded on 50 container vans with a weight of 891.200.6 kilograms amounting to US$222,800.15 or more than P10 million.
Customs said the shipment will not be allowed to enter the country because it violates the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990.
The shipping firm, Chronic Incorporated, with address at 95 Regency Crescent, Whitby, Ontario, Canada LIN 7K8, will be obliged by the Customs to ship back the container vans at the port of origin, at the shipper's expense.
Sevilla said the bureau will coordinate with the Canadian embassy about the shipment, noting that the export of garbage is also illegal under Canadian law.
Nepomuceno said the bureau is coordinating with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in returning the garbage shipment to Canada. He noted that under the Basel Convention, the exporting country must take back the waste materials if the receiving country refuses to accept them. With a report by Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News