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Halabuyan sang basura and Pinas! Drilon seeks total ban on waste imports

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Iloilo City’s Senator Franklin Drilon has called for a total ban on waste imports in the country.

His Senate Bill No. (SBN) 18 or the “Waste Importation Ban Act of 2019” penalizes violators with hefty fines or imprisonment of up to 12 years.

In filing the measure, Drilon lamented how the Canadian garbage inside the 103 shipping containers found its way to the country.

The Philippines, he added, has also become a cross boundary disposal site of unwanted and toxic shipments of waste from waste exporters like Australia, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan.

“These incidents indicate that we have become a dumping ground for waste generated by other nations. We must fix our laws that allowed that to happen. We must then prohibit the importation of all kinds of waste or scrap including recyclable materials. We should never allow our country to be a dumpsite,” said Drilon.

Under SBN 18, any person who misdeclares, brings into the Philippines any waste, or assists in the importation of waste products shall be punished by hefty sanctions and penalties.

“Violators may be fined with up to P15 million and/or imprisoned for 8 to 12 years,” according to the veteran lawmaker.

If the offender is a foreigner, the offender shall be deported after serving the sentence, he added.