By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Misamis Oriental Rep. Juliette T. Uy is calling on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Bureau of Customs (BuCor) to come up with “new and strict regulations” on the importation of foreign solid waste.
She made the pitch, even as she appealed to San Miguel Corporation, the new owner of cement maker Holcim Philippines, to resolve the issue of the newly-discovered “alleged waste materials” or supposed alternative fuel intended for Holcim coming from Australia.
“I urge DENR to issue new and strict regulations, jointly with the Bureau of Customs, on the importation of any form of waste from any country in the world,” Uy said in a statement.
“The practice of other countries and companies overseas of sending their garbage to the Philippines is an insult to all Filipinos and an affront to our laws,” she said.
Uy said she was looking into and “gathering more information” on the supposed imported trash from China.
She even called on the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Department of Justice (DoJ) to step in and immediately effect the conduct of proper criminal investigation on the garbage importation at the port of Tagoloan in Misamis Oriental.
“That the importation of garbage happened again at the Port of Tagoloan here in Misamis Oriental means the people and illicit system which keep making it happen are still in place. The removal and prosecution of the conspirators embedded at the Tagoloan port and in Misamis Oriental must happen,” she said.
“For this, I again ask the help of the NBI and the DOJ, so that the proper criminal investigation of these importations is conducted immediately,” she added.
She appealed to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, to include such investigation as among his “urgent priorities.”
She also called on the DOJ to prosecute the individuals and local companies that enabled the garbage importationa from Canada and South Korea, noting that the garbage from Canada and South Korea have yet to be sent back to their respective countries.
Uy earlier asked about the status of the supposed charges filed against Chronic Plastics Inc., the consignee of the imported trash from Canada in 103 cargo containers.
“Chronic Plastics is no different from Verde Soko. Both misdeclared their cargo to illegally import their dangerous contraband cargo,” she said.
She asked the BoC, the DoJ, and the Court Administrator of the Supreme Court to update the public on the status of the cases filed against Chronic Plastics since it has been pending for over five years.
“This is not a victimless crime. It is clear that Chronic Plastics violated the law, The plaintiff is the People of the Philippines. The Filipino people want justice meted against Chronic Plastics and all its officials and the personnel who conspired with or were accessories to the crimes stated in the charges,” Uy said.