By Ellson Quismorio
Alluding to recent instances wherein the Philippines was treated as a dump site by other countries, Misamis Oriental 2nd district Rep. Juliette Uy on Wednesday called on Filipinos to “declare our independence from imported garbage.”
In her statement on the commemoration of the 121st Philippine Independence Day, Uy claimed that Filipinos have had enough of other countries exporting their wastes and garbage to local shores.
“It is time we declare our independence from imported garbage. My ‘anti-international dumping of garbage bill’ is a total ban and provides for zero exceptions,” she said.
The Mindanao lawmaker was referring to House Bill (HB) no.9207, or the proposed Total Ban on the Import and Export of Waste Act of 2019.
Uy filed the measure in response to the unceremonious dumping of tons of garbage from Canada and South Korea to the Philippines via cargo vessels the past few years. The bill also bans the export of garbage.
“We must heed the Golden Rule. We should not do unto others what we do not want others to do unto us. We demand respect and so we must also reciprocate with respect,” she said.
Since HB no.9207 was filed one day before the sine die adjournment of the 17th Congress, Uy vowed to refile the measure in the upcoming 18th Congress.
“I will convince my colleagues in the House to co-author so that by the time the 18th Congress opens session on July 22, it will have wide support and faster progress through the legislative pipeline,” she explained.
“I will also file other bills on plastic waste, waste redemption, waste recovery, and the proper management of our water and aquatic resources. This is an all-out war on waste because we want our country to be beautiful and prosperous,” Uy said.
She also renewed her request for the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to make sure imported garbage does not arrive at any of the country’s international seaports aside from the Port of Tagoloan.
“We learned that Holcim Philippines was able to land in the Port of Davao a shipment of their processed engineered fuels, which is another form of garbage. We do not want any garbage to be imported or exported through any of our international ports,” she stressed.