Statement on the Issue of Canadian Trash in the Subic Bay Freeport | SubicNewsLink

28 November 2017

Statement on the Issue of Canadian Trash in the Subic Bay Freeport

The Canadian wastes that have found their way into the Subic Bay Freeport Zone are a nagging concern that bedevils the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.

For one, these Canadian wastes have been classified as hazardous as per Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste and Control Act of 1990, or Republic Act 6969, and their transport to the Philippines is in contravention of the Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, of which both the Philippines and Canada are a party to.

Second, it should be noted that the 23 container vans of hazardous wastes from Canada that arrived in Subic were just part of the 741 freight boxes transferred here by the Bureau of Customs in August 2014 in an effort to decongest the Port of Manila.

However, even with the discovery of hazardous wastes inside, little has been done by concerned parties in the interim to remove these items that were brought here illegally, and are now posing potential harm to the local environment and its people.

At the moment, eight of the original 23 containers remain at Subic’s New Container Terminal-1, as 15 others have been shipped for disposal at the Metro Clark Waste Management Corporation’s landfill in Capas, Tarlac in 2015. The remaining eight freight boxes are supposed to be sealed tight from within and without, but could we be sure that they won’t eventually leak the longer they remain in Subic stockyard?

For its part, the SBMA has called out this problem as early as 2015. We have demanded the removal of these hazardous wastes from the Subic Bay Freeport then. Now, as public attention has re-focused on this issue, we again call on concerned parties to re-examine our position on this matter.

Specifically, should Subic continue to suffer the unintended consequences of its effort to help decongest Manila? Should the Philippines be allowed to become a dumpsite for foreign trash? Should we be a party to some violation of an international accord that was specifically designed to prevent the transfer of hazardous wastes from developed to less-developed countries?

Clearly, we need to work out a solution to this problem. And we need to seal out the loopholes that had caused this problem in the first place.

We therefore join the Filipino nation in calling for the return of these wastes back to their Canadian shipper, and urge concerned parties to step up measures to ensure and hasten this end.

Wilma 'Amy' T. Eisma
Chairperson & Administrator