Australia’s garbage is next for shipment out of the Philippines.
This was announced by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. yesterday, saying that the Australian trash which was imported to the country by a Philippine-based cement maker is “going back” to where it came from.
“O, by the way, the garbage from Australia, that’s going back too. No, I don’t give a flying f••k that it is used in making cement. If that is so cement makers should formally import the ingredient so it goes nowhere but to their plants,” Locsin said in a tweet more than a week after the Philippines has forced the Canadian government to retrieve back the tons of waste it illegally shipped to the country almost six years ago.
Unlike in the Canadian garbage issue, Locsin, however, did not issue a timetable for the Australian trash’ return.
Commenting on Locsin’s tweet, Muntinlupa City Rep. Ruffy Biazon said a recent congressional hearing showed the shipment was imported by cement maker Holcim Philippines.
Biazon, who served as Customs commissioner during the Aquino administration, noted that the Bureau of Customs contested the declaration that indicated the shipment as “Processed Engineered Fuel.”
“Secretary Locsin, per information during a recent hearing in Congress, it was imported formally by Holcim. BoC contested the declaration which was Processed Engineered Fuel, saying it was domestic waste based on the smell. DENR said they can test to confirm,” the Muntinlupa solon said.
Customs officials claimed there was an alleged discrepancy in the shipment’s declaration. They explained that in one document, it was entered as PEF but in the tariff, it appeared as “municipal waste.”
In essence, the BoC maintained that the shipment allegedly violated Republic Act No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, RA 6969 or the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Control Act of 1990, and Section 1400 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, which covers “misdeclaration or misclassification” of shipment. (Roy Mabasa)