Save PH from being made a garbage dump — Pimentel

SENATOR Koko Pimentel has had enough of other countries treating the Philippines as a dumpsite and filed a bill seeking to ban importation of solid waste.

According to Pimentel, the Philippines is “well on the path” of being known as a country in the “global waste trade” as evidenced by two incidents of trash dumping in 2017 and 2018.

His Senate Bill No. 2144, otherwise known as An Act Banning the Importation of Solid Waste, proposes to ban the importation of trash even by recyclers of trash located in Special Economic Zones. By banning the importation of solid waste, the Philippines will stop being a dumping site of more advanced countries.

He said China, formerly the top destination for recyclable trash, has banned the importation of solid wastes, with Thailand and Vietnam following suit.

The China ban on plastic wastes, Pimentel said, has left the US, Britain, Japan and Mexico scrambling to find alternative dumping sites for their wastes.

The Philippines has to set a ban against the importation of solid waste to prevent foreign waste from “arriving on our shores.”

Under the bill, any entity or person who imports any solid waste or otherwise use, treat or process the same in violation of the act, faces imprisonment of 12 years and one day to 20 years depending upon the discretion of the court.

In case the offender is a foreigner, he or she shall be deported and barred from any subsequent entry into the Philippines. In case the offender is a corporation, association or other entities, the penalty shall be imposed upon the managing partner, president or chief executive officer, in addition to the payment of an exemplary damage of at least P500,000.

If it is a foreign entity, the director and all its responsible officers shall be barred from entry to the Philippines, in addition to the cancellation of its license to do business in the Philippines.