Beware of sneaking garbage

"The Philippines is being targeted as a dumping ground due mainly to our inadequate controls at various ports of entry, according to a lawmaker."


Finally, after six long years, the country bid goodbye to Canada’s trash. Not only did we get rid of an unwanted importation. By standing up to a powerful country like Canda, we now could hold our heads up high.

However, it seems imported trash still seems to be threatening us and the moment we lower our guards, we could find our country serving as dump for some other countries. 

This was after outgoing House senior deputy minority leader and Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza warned of a likely increase in containerized foreign garbage shipments headed to the Philippines in the months ahead.

According to Atienza, the Philippines is being targeted as a dumping ground due mainly to our inadequate controls at various ports of entry.

Aggravating the situation, Atienza said, is China’s ban on the importation of used plastics and other recyclables, which North America and Europe are producing at a ginormous rate.

With Chinese recyclers who used to import and process much of the Western world’s reusable waste closing ships, North America and Europe are now looking for new destinations for their unwanted materials.

This was put in effect after China adopted the “National Sword” policy, in January 2018.

As such, trash, just like prohibited drugs, are sneaking into our ports mainly due to corruption and ineffective checks, according to the former three-term mayor of Manila.

Recall that Canada recently pulled out 69 shipping containers of garbage, mostly plastics and household kitchen waste, unlawfully deposited in the Philippines.

This was after President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to ship back and dump the trash in Canadian territorial waters, and after Manila began downgrading diplomatic ties with Ottawa.

The Philippines also recently shipped back 2.6 tons of shredded electronic and plastic waste from Hong Kong that arrived at the Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

To prevent future occurrences, Atienza urged the Bureau of Customs to enforce the compulsory pre-shipment inspection (PSI) of containerized imports in order to thwart all contraband trying to enter the country, including illegal trash and narcotics.

PSI is the practice used by governments, mostly in developing countries, of requiring importers to engage accredited third-party surveyors to verify shipment details, such as the price, quantity and quality of goods, before cargoes depart the exporting country.

The practice compensates for inadequacies in the importing country’s customs and other administrative controls, and discourages the undervaluation of taxable shipments from abroad.

The PSI of containerized shipments would also put an end to chronic corruption at the BOC that costs the National Treasury tens of billions of pesos in lost import taxes every year, according to Atienza.

At present, the BOC only requires the PSI of all bulk and break-bulk cargo, or commodities—mostly in liquid, granular or particulate form—shipped in large quantities, such as crude oil, petroleum, grain, coal and the like.

Atienza estimates that the BOC could easily increase its annual tax collection by 50 percent once PSI is in place for containerized imports.

We hope this could be put in place as surely don’t want to end up as another dump for another country.

Topics: Charlie Manalo , garbage , waste , Canada , Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza
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