(Eagle News)–Senator Koko Pimentel has filed a bill seeking a ban on the importation of wastes into the country.
In filing Senate Bill No. 2144, Pimentel noted that the Philippines was “well in the path” of being known as a country engaged in the “global waste trade” as evidenced by two incidents of trash dumping in 2017 and 2018.
Pimentel also noted that China, formerly the top destination for recyclable trash, has banned the importation of solid wastes, with Thailand and Vietnam following suit.
The Philippines has to set a ban against the importation of solid waste to prevent foreign waste from “arriving in our shores,” he said.
Under the bill, any person who imports any solid waste or uses, treats or processes the same faces imprisonment of 12 years and one day to 20 years, depending on the discretion of the court.
If the offender is a foreigner, he or she shall be deported and barred from any subsequent entry into the Philippines, the bill said.
If the offender is a corporation, association or another entity, the sanction shall be imposed on the managing partner, president or chief executive officer, in addition to the payment of an exemplary damage of at least P500,000.
If the violator is a foreign entity, the director and all its responsible officers shall be barred from entry to the Philippines, and its license to do business in the Philippines will be cancelled.
If the offender is a government official or employee, he or she shall be meted out an automatic dismissal from office and permanent disqualification from holding any elective or appointive position, in addition to the penalties provided in the act.
“A person or a firm responsible for or connected with the unlawful importation of solid waste shall have the obligation to transport or send back to the port of origin the prohibited wastes. In case the importer cannot be ascertained, the carrier shall be responsible for transporting the solid waste back to the port of origin or pay the exemplary damage of at least P500,000 or both,” the bill said.
“It is our Constitutional duty and intergenerational responsibility to protect and advance the right of the people to a balance and healthful ecology,” Pimentel added.