Senate Ratified JPEPA: Only 4 Stand for the Environment and for the People

Just a day after the Renewable Energy Bill was approved, 16 of the Philippine’s senators have voted for the ratification of the Japan-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA).

Beau Baconguis – Greenpeace Southeast Asia Campaign Manager in the Philippines sent out the statement below on the ratification of the JPEPA on the night of Wednesday, October 8, 2008.

" "The sneaky and seemingly last-minute maneuvering to have the JPEPA ratified by the Senate betrays the unbearable shame that senators must have faced when they voted for the treaty. It is deplorable that despite the inability of treaty proponents to explain how provisions in the JPEPA which are detrimental to the interest of Filipinos could be corrected, the JPEPA pushers blindly plowed ahead, unmindful of the profound consequences that the treaty would have on the lives of Filipinos.

"With the treaty ratified, there is now an even bigger incentive for Japanese hazardous waste generators and traders to ship their dangerous materials to the Philippines so long as an economic justification for 'recycling' these toxic substances could be made. When you recycle a hazard, you will always be left with a hazard, and JPEPA's ratification has just reinforced and provided additional institutional incentive to promote this practice. In the end, Filipino communities and workers in dirty 'recycling' or waste processing facilities will be the ones who will bear the brunt of toxics pollution and contamination caused by what essentially is a case of hazardous waste dumping from a rich to a poor country.

"It is imperative that the Philippine government now act swiftly to ratify the Amendment to the Basel Convention which would categorically prevent the dumping of toxic and hazardous waste from richer to poorer countries under the guise of recycling, a dastardly practice that has been reinforced with the Senate's ratification of the JPEPA.

"We commend the four senators, Sen. Chiz Escudero, Sen. Noynoy Aquino, Sen. Jamby Madrigal, and Sen. Aquilino Pimentel for standing up for the environment and for the Filipino people by voting against the JPEPA."

Meanwhile, members of the JPEPA Coalition have agreed "to close this chapter with a condemnation march from Liwasang Bonifacio to the Supreme Court on Monday,October 13.



Beau Baconguis
Toxic Campaigner,
Greenpeace Southeast Asia

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