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BOC acts to remove imported garbage.

Manila, Philippines --- The Bureau of Customs (BOC) declared yesterday that it will not allow the Philippines to become a dumping site of other countries' waste materials as it moved to return a junk cargo that came from Canada, saying this could pose biohazard risks to the public.

Deputy Customs Commissioner for Enforcement Ariel Nepomuceno said he has notified the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) about the seized hazardous substances, asking the DENR to request the exporting country to take back the waste materials in compliance with the Basel Convention, an international treaty that was designed to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between nations, and specifically to prevent transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries.

Nepomuceno pointed out that "it is the DENR that is signatory to the protocol" on the international treaty.

The BOC already sued Chronic Plastics, a firm in Valenzuela City, for the importation of the garbage loaded in 50 container vans that were misdeclared as plastic scrap.

Five of the container vans, when inspected by Customs authorities, yielded used mixed and unsorted or "heterogenous" plastic materials, including household garbage and used adult diapers.

Nepomuceno, however, said the waste materials could be even more hazardous than they thought. "We don't know what's really inside... it might contain mercury. We were not able to open all the containers," he said.

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Title Annotation:Metro
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Feb 22, 2014
Words:229
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