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PIA Press Release

PCCI says no to toxic waste dumping

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (28 October) -- While environmentalist groups have been alarmingly vocal in trying to save the country from becoming a dumping ground for toxic waste, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry said they also are concurring with the stand of the environmentalists.

The "toxic waste dumping" issue came to the picture after the Japan-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) was signed last September 9 by President Arroyo and then- Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi during the Asia-Europe Meeting in Helsenki, Finland.

PCCI president Donald Dee in a press briefing with the Davao media this week said that the environmental laws of the country are so stringent.

Secretary Peter Favila of the Department of Trade and Industry on television Friday morning said definitely no toxic waste will enter the country.

Dee said such position has to be made very clear to policy makers for them to make sure and consider their acts.

"Don't allow the dumping of toxic waste here," the PCCI prexy said.

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Angelo Reyes gave earlier assurance that the mere signing of the agreement has not violated any existing domestic laws and treaties already ratified by the Philippine government regarding hazardous wastes.

However Dee said the environmentalist in our country just want to amplify and make sure that we don't become damping ground of waste.

The JPEPA had to be signed he said to allow equal treatment between Filipinos and Japanese nationals (share same privileges and opportunities in the work place).

"It has to be signed to achieve a level of equivalency on some points like allowing entertainers to enter Japan but not the professionals," he said.

The JPEPA aims to promote trade and investments in goods and services between Japan and the Philippines through liberalization where it covers some 11,300 specific commodities or tariff lines. There are however "environmentally- sensitive" products consisting of 141 items or 1.2 percent of the total commodities. (PIA XI) [top]

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