THE Mindanaoan lady solon who has been relentless in her campaign against imported garbage has refiled her bill banning both the import and export of wastes of whatever kind. She is hoping President Rodrigo Duterte will certify her bill as urgent.
"I will also file other bills on plastic waste, waste redemption, waste recovery, and the proper management of our water and aquatic resources. This is an all-out war on waste because we want our country to be beautiful and prosperous," said Misamis Oriental second district Rep. Juliette T. Uy.
"I am requesting the House leadership to ask President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to certify HB 3461 as urgent. I am open to improvements of the bill. We can work out the details during the committee hearings," Rep. Uy added.
She also ask the Bureau of Customs (BOC) anew to make sure imported garbage does not arrive at any of the country's international seaports aside from the Port of Tagoloan.
In the bill, Uy wants the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Finance and the Department of Transportation to jointly establish an Environmental Protection Desk in every port of entry and exit in the country to be manned 24 hours and seven days a week by competent and adequately trained personnel.
"Imported cargoes declared as waste or misdeclared to conceal the true waste cargo or smuggled into the country shall not be offloaded from any transport vessel and shall be immediately ordered by port authorities to depart from the port and return the illegal cargo to its port of origin, with all costs borne by the shipper," Uy pointed out.
She said the bill draws lessons learned from the House investigation on the Verde Soko imported garbage sent to Misamis Oriental from South Korea.
The bill seeks to make it illegal for any person, groups of persons, business, corporate entity, or government office to import or export any form and whatever amount of waste, processed waste materials, waste by-products whether organic or inorganic and in whatever form whether solid, liquid, liquefied, gaseous, or mixture of substances.
Uy said she included appropriate enforcement measures in the bill.
"The Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Bureau of Customs, and Maritime Industry Authority, shall take control off the seized vessel, hire the services of competent and properly certified officers and crew, and return the seized vessel to the port of origin of the contraband waste cargo," Uy said, citing salient features of the bill.
"Transport vessels which refuse to comply with the lawful orders of port authorities to immediately depart and not to offload the imported contraband waste cargo shall be seized and all its officers, crew, and contraband shipment consignee shall be immediately arrested for violations," she added.
Uy further said, "the shipper of the imported contraband waste cargo shall be immediately permanently banned from shipping or causing the transport of any cargo to the Philippines."
The bill provides that the freight forwarder and shipper of contraband waste cargo meant for export shall be immediately ordered and compelled to return the shipment to its shipper. Non-compliance shall result in the immediate ban of the freight forwarder from entry into any port of the country.