Aquino should not be blamed on Canadian trash mess

I’ve been seeing a lot of memes, videos and other sorts of graphical content which depicts the former Aquino administration as the one who seemed to have allowed the transport of hazardous garbage to our ports. However, we know this is completely wrong since the transports were not agreed upon both governments, but rather it’s a shipment organized by a private firm.

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Who sent the trash from Canada?

According to records. The company is Chronic Plastics Incorporated, which is an export company based in Ontario, Canada. They reportedly sent the trash around June to August of 2013 which is listed in the manifest as ”recyclable plastic scrap materials” with a declared total value of P3.9 million pesos. However, when the government opened up 18 of the container vans – they were surprised to find that it actually contains non-recyclable plastics, household waste, and used adult diapers, which are classified as hazardous as per Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste and Control Act of 1990, or Republic Act 6969.

GARBAGE ROW. The EcoWaste Coalition stages a protest on April 29, 2019, calling on Canada to take back its garbage dumped in the Philippines. Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

Though the Bureau of Customs did not open the rest of the container upon fearing widespread contamination should they attempt to open them. They then hurriedly filed charges to the perpetrators.

Charges are filed against Adelfa Eduardo, owner of Chronic Plastics, and its licensed Customs brokers Leonora Flores and Sherjun Saldon, for violating the Toxic Substance and Hazardous Wastes and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990.

They are also accused of violating the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP).

The Aquino administration filed charges and demanded appropriate actions from Canada for the return of the trash to their ports

In fact, after just a month of discovering the said hazardous waste which was shipped over by a private Canadian company. The Philippine government under the Aquino administration sent urgent letters to the Canadian embassy in the Philippines requesting for assistance in shipping the garbage back to Canada. However, the Canadian government could not take back the trash since they do not have pertinent domestic laws which could compel private firms in taking back the trash. Also, complicating the issue were the said environmental restrictions of importing back any hazardous materials or waste overseas, which puts the resolution of the Canadian trash issue out of reach for the time being.

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So to sum it all up. The real perpetrators of this issue are purely between private firms and should not between governments as none of them really wanted for this to happen in the first place nor organize the shipment of trash vis-a-vis. Also, incidentally enough – Canadian laws prevent the return of the trash, hence why their Canadian government is working on amending their laws for the return of the trash.

UPDATE : Canadian trash will now be departing from Philippine ports to Canada this month as per DFA Locsin

I would congratulate both the Aquino and the Duterte administration for their steady leadership in demanding the return of the trash since day one. Each has their own part of the greater picture of this debacle. So I don’t think blaming any of them would help in our country’s intensely polarized political landscape. Believe me. We can do better than this. I think it’s best that the people stop making senseless propaganda memes and non-sense posts blaming either of the two president’s regarding this as you can see — both of them sincerely worked hard in returning the said garbage back to Canada.

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It’s quite sad that people easily jumps into this yellow-hate bandwagon without thinking rationally or even doing careful research about the root cause of the issue. Come on people. We can do better than this.

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