Is Philippines Turning into Dump Site for Foreign Trash?
From plastic wastes to used adult diapers, trash from other countries gained entry to the Philippine ports. Tons of these hazardous and toxic materials made it’s way into the country But how did it happen?
From 2013, there had been tons of trash that entered the Philippine ports. Most of them were misinterpreted as ‘recyclable scraps’ from private businesses. The incident were repeated several times despite the country’s attempts to send the shipments back to its country of origin, However, the problem remains unsolved up to this day despite the visit of the Canadian PM Justin Trudeau to the Philippines.
Only this year, tons of garbage were reportedly shipped to the Philippines. The shipment was wrongly declared as ‘plastic synthetic flakes.’ In 2017, the Bureau of Customs called on a South Korean shipper to take back around 5,000 metric tons of suspected trash.
What has the Philippine government been doing?
On Canada’s issue, the government was urged to file a diplomatic protest against Canada. Diplomatic notes were exchanged but Canadian PM Trudeau didn’t make a full commitment to move the trash out of the country yet. He stated that the regulations and restrictions on trade impeded the resolution. However, since it was from private businesses, there were issues such as who should shoulder the cost of shipping the trash back to its country of origin.
With the most recent event on the Korean trash in the country, environmental groups are seeking for the banning of garbage imports.
But why were these events allowed to happen? What’s lacking about the government’s laws that such garbage were able to be shipped in the country. Who should be held liable? People can only treat you the way you allow them to. Other countries were able to do such horrible things because there were ways to do so. Maybe it’s high time the country should review the rules and regulations on trade. But most importantly, there has to be stricter standards and evaluation on the people implementing these rules. It is not just the system but the people in that system.
These issues are not only environmentally but morally degrading to Filipinos. In as much as we respect and embrace other countries’ culture. we should also protect our own. If we know how to serve and protect our own, we shouldn’t allow others to disrespect us by letting them throw their trash in our lands.