Wednesday, October 25, 2006

RP-Japan Accord ‘Toxic’ Waste

We hope that the Philippine Senate will not ratify the signed Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA). Mrs. Gloria Arroyo should accept dumping of toxic and hazardous material waste inside Malacanang Palace compound not the entire 7,100 islands. She is considered a traitor, bogus president and working against the interests of the Filipino people and the environment. Dumping of toxic waste in the Philippines is not acceptable. No Way Jose'!

Petition on Toxic Waste JPEPA

Toxic’ RP-Japan treaty signed; Manila to ‘take a look’ only now

By Ayen Infante
Daily Tribune 10/26/2006
Calling senators “self-proclaimed experts,” Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Favila yesterday challenged Congress to pass a bill that would include legislators in negotiating international trade and investments amid charges that dumping of toxic materials in the country was inserted among the provisions in the recently signed Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agree-ment (Jpepa).
The labeling apparently stemmed from the senators’ insistence that the Jpepa and other treaties for that matter require their ratification.
Malacañang, for its part, also yesterday said it is willing to review the agreement with Tokyo before it allows its implementation.
“I think it’s about time that we take a look at it,” Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita told reporters during a chance interview.
Ermita allayed fears that
the Jpepa would turn the Philippines into a toxic graveyard.
“We will always protect the national interest. Anything that will hurt the interest of the country will be prevented,” he said.
The Jpepa was signed by President Arroyo and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Helsinki last Sept. 9.
Philippine Senate Majority Leader Francis Pangilinan also yesterday conceded that amending the agreement is easier said than done.
“We cannot amend provisions of a treaty as this will require consent of the other party, in this case Japan, a signatory to the (Jpepa),” Pangilinan said.
The agreement is likely to be junked by the Senate, with environment committee chairman Sen. Pia Cayetano also yesterday raising a howl over it.
Cayetano had managed to extract from Cabinet officials the admission that “goods” stated in the Jpepa refer to “unwanted wastes” from Japan.
She said the proposed treaty will only open the floodgates to hazardous and toxic waste to the country.
“I find this situation unacceptable, however, because we have not even fully implemented the provisions of Republic Act 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000) despite its passage into law almost six years ago. We cannot even manage our own garbage, so how can we take responsibility for the wastes of other countries?” Cayetano asked.
Favila and Environment Secretary Angelo Reyes, during budget hearings, admitted to Cayetano that “the Jpepa would allow waste from Japan, as long as it will observe the (Philippines’) environmental laws and its commitment to international treaties such as the Basel Convention of 1989.”
Cayetano said she supports Malacañang’s efforts to give Filipino health workers access to the Japanese labor market but, she added, not through a toxic tradeoff.
It is believed that the Philippines signed the Jpepa to pave the way for the deployment of Filipino caregivers to Japan.
Cayetano urged Malacañang to immediately transmit the treaty documents to the Senate along with the attached commitments of both state signatories for the chamber’s scrutiny and its subsequent concurrence or rejection, in line with the requirements of the 1987 Constitution.
According to Favila, lawmakers should pass a bill that would call for their presence in all foreign negotiations to avoid doubts and promote greater transparency.
“I already told them and proposed that they should pass a bill to address the issue, because I (also) told them already that as soon as an agreement is signed, it will be transparent and submitted to the Senate (for ratification),” he pointed out.
When asked to name the senators he was referring to, Favila said all of them who are “self-proclaimed experts.”
He even cited a World Trade Organization (WTO) convention in Hong Kong in December 2005 when he allowed the participation of prominent personalities of non-government organizations (NGOs) in trade talks.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) chief said he needs to meet the press to explain an article that came out the other day in a broadsheet baring the Philippine government’s inclusion of hazardous waste as a talking point in the negotiations with the Japanese government.
Favila clarified that the inclusion of hazardous waste in the ongoing negotiations under the JPEPA was part of both parties’’ strategy to protect sensitive industries.
He assured both Manila and Tokyo that even with the inclusion of toxic waste in the negotiations, they are still protected by their membership in the WTO agreement and their being both signatories to the Basel Convention, which bans and controls the transboundary shipment and movement of hazardous waste.
Favila said both parties were forced to present toxic materials in the talks to protect other sensitive industries.
He left for Japan also yesterday to join Finance Secretary Margarito Teves there and address a Japan Bank for International Cooperation event.
In a statement, Greenpeace Southeast Asia also yesterday said the legal toxic dumping” the JPEPA allegedly allows “is “nothing short of criminal.”
Greenpeace noted that the Philippines and Japan are signatories to the Basel Convention, a “legally-binding global commitment, which is intended to stop all hazardous waste exports from industrialized countries to developing countries,” that, however, allows the export of hazardous wastes meant for recycling.”
“While this loophole was addressed by the Basel Ban, neither the Philippines nor Japan has ratified the amendment, it said.
Ratification of the Basel Ban would protect the Philippines from hazardous waste dumping by industrialized countries,” the group added.
It urged that the Philippine government “review RA 6969 or the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act, which, since it is based on the Basel Convention, not on the Basel Ban, carries the inherent loophole of the convention.” Angie M. Rosales, Sherwin C. Olaes and Gerry Baldo

Related Links:
Japanese-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement
JPEPA Encourage Trade in Hazardous and Toxic Waste



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks good! Well done. All the best!
- a
spaghetti alla carbonara

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So long, I hope, that it is the beginning only, and you will plea
- c
spaghetti alla carbonara

9:50 AM  

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