MANILA, March 10, 2015— As the allegedly unlawful Canadian toxic waste continue to rot in the Port of Manila, “running priest” Fr. Robert Reyes has joined the call for Canada to ship their garbage back to their country.
Reyes on Tuesday led the “BasuRUN” along with a coalition of environmental advocates which include Ban Toxics, Ecowaste Coalition and Greenpeace in Makati City.
The groups ran along the main streets of Makati business district leading to RCBC Plaza, where the Canadian Embassy is located, to decry the “overstaying” toxic shipment and to urge Canada to take responsibility for their dozens of cargo vans containing various waste materials.
“These toxic wastes are the worst form of expressing friendship between our two countries,” Reyes said.
“Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government is an embarrassment to the civic-minded and environmentally conscious Canadians. We know this is not the real Canada. We urge Prime Minister Harper to take immediate action. Take back your illegal waste shipment now,” he said.
It was in February 2014 when the Bureau of Customs seized 50 container vans containing hazardous wastes such as used plastic bags, used bottles, household garbage, and even adult diapers imported from Canada, with the consignee Chronic Plastics, Inc. declaring the shipment as “assorted plastic materials for recycling”.
Loss of income
“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.
Gutierrez said the shipment violates local and international laws and requires Canada to take back the waste materials and pay the costs for its return.
According to the groups’ calculations, the government is spending at least Php 144,000 a day for the loss of income for storage space and the additional expenses for demurrage, which, to date, costs around Php 87 million.
The coalition is encouraging more people to support their online petition at change.org that drew more than 25,000 signers to date, more than half of which are Canadians. (CBCPNews)