Press Release
November 1, 2006

RP must say Sayonara to Japanese waste
and start treating its own 13 billion kgs of trash

Data submitted by President Arroyos own men to Congress refute the capability of the government to handle toxic and hazardous waste Japan can dump into the country under a trade agreement President Arroyo and then Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi signed on Sept. 9 in Helsinki .

Sen. Ralph Recto said an environment briefer presented by officials of the Department of Environment and Management in the course of the Senates hearing on the agencys proposed 2007 budget last month painted a country that is a ticking stinking time bomb due to large volume of uncollected trash.

The bottomline is that the country is having a hard time treating and handling the 13 billion kilos of solid waste its 89 million residents generate annually , Recto said. Thus, the only way to treat Japanese waste is to say Sayonara to it .

In Metro Manila alone, 85 percent of the 6,169 tons of garbage generated daily end up in creeks and esteros, Recto said, quoting from the DENR report.

To make matters worse, the national capital regions litter output is projected to double by year 2010, or to 12, 338 metric tons a day or 4.5 million metric tons annually .

That would make that mountain of trash in Payatas a molehill , Recto said.

The rest of the country also face Metro Manila s garbage headache , if the DENR report is to be believed

Recto said there were only seven sanitary landfills in the country as of last month.

In contrast, there were 718 open dumpsites and 376 controlled dumpsites , which should be closed under Republic Act 9003, the Solid Waste Management Law which imposes a February 2006 deadline in the conversion of open dumpsites to sanitary landfills. Many LGUs, due to financial reasons , are having a hard time in making the shift, Recto noted.

Recto said the DENR garbage situationer is proof that when it comes to solid waste we have a surplus that we dont have to import more of it from other countries . There is simply no room in the inn for other peoples garbage.

He also pointed out the irony that while the government is now banning the importation of used cars it is opening the door for toxic wastes . It believes that used cars must be banned because it can kill the local automobile industry but it also saying that toxic wastes that can kill people are welcome.

Recto urged government officials to make sure that the trade in hazardous waste allowed in the JPEPA , the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement , should not cover environmentally sensitive products deemed potentially hazardous to health .

He said impermissible acts under the Basel Convention to which the Philippines and Japan are signatories and practices outlawed by local laws such as Republic Act 8749, or the Clean Air Act, and Republic Act 6969, or the Toxic Substance and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Act of 1990, should not kowtow to the JPEPA.

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