BAN Toxics has been leading the call for Canada to take back their illegal waste shipment to the Philippines.
From Makati City to the Port of Manila, BAN Toxics together with Greenpeace Philippines, EcoWaste Coalition and Father Robert Reyes, came together to call upon the Canadian and the Philippine government to act on the waste illegally exported from Canada.
Fr. Robert Reyes (in blue, third from left), leads the “Basurun” protest in front of the RCBC Plaza building, headquarters of the Canadian Embassy in the Philippines, 15 March 2015. (c)AC Dimatatac/BAN Toxics.
Activists wearing masks of Philippine President Benigno Aquino II, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Canadian Foreign Minister Rob Nicholson join the “Basurun”. (c)AC Dimatatac/BAN Toxics.
Last March 2015, “Running Priest” Fr. Reyes, led a “BasuRun” (waste run) from RCBC Plaza (headquarters of the Canadian Embassy in Makati City, the country’s financial capital. The run was conducted call for an immediate re-exportation of the said waste shipment which has been rotting in the Philippines since 2013, when Canada illegally exported 50 shipping containers. To date, a total of 103 containers of waste have been shipped from 2013 to 2014.
The protest march, along Ayala Avenue, Makati City. (c)AC Dimatatac/BAN Toxics.
Upon checking the contents of the container vans mis-labeled as “scrap plastic materials for recycling,” the inspectors from the Bureau of Customs reported that the containers were stuffed with hazardous wastes such as household and municipal trash and used adult diapers.
“These toxic wastes are the worst form of expressing friendship between our two countries,” Reyes said.
The exportation of Canada’s wastes to the Philippines goes against the Basel Convention, an international treaty that prevents the transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries. The treaty is signed by many countries including the Philippines and Canada.
The illegal shipment of these wastes also violates the Republic Act 6969, also known as Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990 and Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.
“It’s been more than a year and yet we are battling the same problem. The Canadian government won’t listen but they should, and we will not stop until they take back the illegal shipment that they dumped in our country,” said Atty. Richard Gutierrez, Executive Director of BAN Toxics.
BAN Toxics conducted several activities throughout Metro Manila, including at the Bureau of Customs, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Luneta Park.
Similar protests were held at the Bureau of Customs at the Port of Manila and (above) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (below). (c) Gigie Cruz/BAN Toxics.
Above: a protest banner at Luneta Park. (c) BAN Toxics.
What the waste shipped from Canada looks like: unsorted household and municipal trash including used diapers and electronic equipment. A total of 103 containers were shipped. (c) BAN Toxics.