DOF chief wants BOC ‘strike team’ vs foreign trash shipments
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III has ordered the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to form a strike team to stop the entry of garbage from foreign countries into Philippine ports.
In a statement on Thursday (July 11), the Department of Finance (DOF) said Dominguez recently told Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero that “it’s time we put up something like an environmental unit” in the BOC “to really act on this garbage issue.”
The DOF statement quoted Dominguez as directing the BOC to study the forming of a strike team against shipments carrying trash from other countries to prevent these from entering the Philippines.
According to the DOF statement, Guerrero had told Dominguez that, at the 28th meeting of Asean Customs officials in Laos, some Asean member-countries, like Malaysia, “thanked the Philippines for setting the example in the region when President Duterte stood pat in his decision to compel Canada to immediately repatriate 69 containers of trash that were dumped in Manila six years ago.”
The mislabelled containers of waste were returned to Canada in May.
“Malaysia was thanking the Philippines for setting the example, this problem about the wastes, because now it has come to the consciousness of the international community, this garbage problem,” Guerrero reported to Dominguez.
“As a result of President Duterte’s tough stand on the issue, [I] received reports that plans to have other shipments of wastes transported to the country have now been scuttled,” Guerrero added.
Guerrero urged his Asean counterparts “to strengthen the law enforcement capabilities of the organization’s member-states not only in the war against drug trafficking, but also in preventing the region from being a dumping ground for hazardous materials such as garbage of other countries.”
It was a proposal welcomed by his regional colleagues, the BOC chief said. /tsb
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