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'Unbearable' stench, health hazard from Canadian trash still festering in Subic


The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) on Wednesday sounded off on the need for 67 containers of garbage shipped from Canada to be removed from their ports.

The garbage that arrived in the Port of Manila in 2013 was transferred to the care of Subic Bay International Terminal Corp. (SBITC), a subsidiary of SBMA, in 2014.

Apart from the stench that has become "unbearable," a recent Bureau of Customs (BOC) inspection found that the festering garbage in one of the containers could cause health hazards, according to Jun Veneracion's exclusive report on "24 Oras".

"I would like to start discussions on how to resolve the issue that it be taken out of here because we were not the original consigned or port of destination. Why should we suffer?" SBMA Administrator Wilma Eisma said.

A portion of the shipment had been disposed of in a dumpsite in Capas, Tarlac while the remaining containers were sitting in an isolated area of the Subic port, but the SBMA stressed that its disposal remained a national issue that needed to be solved.

"It's in an area that is isolated that doesn't affect investors, that doesn't affect the environment but it doesn't mean we should tolerate it," Eisma said.

"It should be taken our because, at the end of the day, the whole country and not just Subic should not be a dumping ground for trash or anybody else whether you're  powerful country, you're a rich country, a poor country. Gusto mo ba, 'yung kapit bahay mo, tapunan ka ng basura?  Siyempre hindi," she added.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during the recent ASEAN summit that the Canadian government has lifted all legal obstacles that supposedly prevented them from taking back the trash.

However, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Chronic Plastics, the Philippine consignee of Chronic Inc., a plastic exporter based in Ontario, Canada, was responsible for shipping the garbage back.

The company had vacated its lot in Barangay Canumay, Valenzuela City by the time GMA News visited the supposed address on November 17. —Margaret Claire Layug/JST, GMA News