PH can ship back waste by mid-May, but Canada ‘red tape’ causes delay
MANILA, Philippines — If not for alleged bureaucratic red tape in Canada, the Philippines can already return the remaining 69 containers of trash languishing in two of the country’s ports by May 15, the Department of Finance (DOF) said Tuesday.
Citing a recent report of Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, DOF said in a statement that “all requirements and preparations on the part of the Philippine government have already been met to facilitate the reexport of the wastes back to Canada.”
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is an attached agency of DOF.
As Dominguez gave Guerrero a deadline to return the piles of garbage to Canada by May 15, the BOC chief met with the Philippine government’s inter-agency committee and Canadian government representatives, and also inspected the container vans at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) and Port of Subic.
Guerrero said the Philippine side was “ready with the necessary documentary requirements to facilitate the reexport.”
The shipping lines that will transport the containers back to Canada – CMA-CGM, Maersk, and Zim Line – had also “already conducted a seaworthiness check on the containers and have made the necessary preparations to ensure that all of them will be returned,” Guerrero said.
“They reported that all 69 containers are considered seaworthy, with one to be secured with a flat rack container at its bottom part because it has already been infested by termites,” the BOC chief said, citing feedback from the three shipping lines after their inspection on May 3-6.
But according to Guerrero, “despite the Philippine government’s readiness to reexport the wastes, the Canadian government informed that it might take weeks for them to arrange the necessary documents from their end and that they might not meet the May 15 deadline.”
The documents that Canada would be unable to provide in time for the deadline included import permits and bidding documents for fumigation services, which its government earlier committed to pay, he said.
These documents could be processed by Canada for “a couple of weeks,” according to Guerrero. /kga
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