Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines Neil Reeder said the garbage, which were stuffed inside container vans and shipped from Canada to a sanitary landfill in Tarlac, are not toxic wastes. Reeder said the Canadian Embassy, in cooperation with the Philippine government, is looking for solutions on how to dispose these waste materials. The Canadian envoy, however, said that the Canadian government does not have a legislation to enforce the shipment back to Canada.
In a press conference, Reeder said he is not privy to the shipment agreement between a private sector firm in Canada and the consignee in the Philippines regarding the more than 50 container vans that are now in the port area of Bureau of Customs in Manila.
The matterwas brought to the attention of Canadian Embassy after the container vans were opened to reveal garbage of household wastes and plastics. Reeder said he is amenable that Philippine Congress will undertake an investigation regarding the shipment. Lawmakers filed a resolution at the House of Representatives to investigate the dumping of illegally-shipped garbage from Canada in Philippine landfills. House Resolution No 2220 was filed on July 20, by congressmen Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate of the Bayan Muna Partylist.
The resolution comes amid reports that several container vans of the garbage are being transferred to landfills in different parts of Luzon.
The Senate is also eyeing its own probe into the matter.
“This is the height of insult and callousness when our own government allows another country to use our lands as its own garbage dump. This is tantamount to an affront to our national sovereignty. How pliable is President Aquino to the Canadian government for agreeing to such a trashy deal?” said Colmenares in a press release.
At least 26 container vans of the garbage have been dumped in a private landfill in Capas town, Tarlac, Aquino’s own home province. The landfill is owned by Metro Clark Waste Management Corp.