By Tracy Cabrera
Environment and natural resources acting secretary Jim Sampulna. (Photo: DENR PIO)
MANILA — Expressing its utmost support for the ratification of the Basel Ban Amendment which would prohibit the export of hazardous waste and other trash from developed to developing countries, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has underscored the significance of this development as it would address the illegal traffic of imported hazardous waste into the Philippines.
“In previous years, we have strongly fought against the import of hazardous wastes from countries who regarded our country as their dumpsites. Ratifying the Basel Ban Amendment will protect the Philippines from being a destination of hazardous wastes again,” environment and natural resources acting secretary Jim Sampulna noted.
Sampulna added that it was in 2019 that the DENR through its Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) had successfully coordinated the return of 69 international container units of mixed wastes to Canada, which were illegally imported to the Philippines after being declared as waste plastics for recycling.
In addition, the DENR-EMB, in cooperation with the Bureau of Customs (BoC), was also successful in repatriating some 6,400 metric tons of mixed wastes that was delivered in Misamis Oriental back to its source of origin in South Korea in 2020.
Under the Basel Ban Amendment, which has been adopted by all parties to the Basel Convention, member states of the European Union, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Liechtenstein would be effectively restrained from exporting hazardous wastes either for recovery, treatment or disposal to developing countries or countries with economies in transition.
The Philippines is party to the 1989 Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal. The treaty that was agreed upon in the convention was ratified by Congress in 1993 and entered into force the following year, but despite this, Manila has yet to ratify the Basel Ban Amendment. (ai/mtvn)