Rubbish from Australia ‘offends’ government

By Genalyn Kabiling

The government is “offended” by the reported shipment of garbage from Australia and will ask the concerned importer to bring the trash back to that country.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the government would not allow the country to be a dumping site of foreign garbage.

“It will be offensive to this government to be [a] recipient of trash. We are offended by that. We will not allow it. We will send them back,” Panelo said during a Palace press briefing amid reports of Australian trash shipped to the country.

“We will not allow ourselves to be a dumping ground of trash,” he insisted.

Reports said several containers of garbage from Australia have been recently shipped to the country. The containers reportedly filled with shredded municipal waste were reportedly put on hold at the Mindanao Container Terminal in Misamis Oriental.

A cement company reportedly declared the shipment containing processed engineered fuel that will be used for operations.

Panelo said they would ask the private company to ship back the trash to Australia. If the firm misdeclared the shipment to evade customs inspection, he said they would face prosecution.

“We will tell them to take it back,” he said in Filipino.

“In the first place, I am puzzled how they entered the country. We should know if it is garbage of not and immediately stop it unless they are misdeclared to evade detection,” he added. “They should be prosecuted,” he said if the importer committed misdeclaration of shipment.

If there are other foreign imports shipped to the country, Panelo said the government will have the “same procedure, same stance” to send them back.