Senator Chiz Escudero is seeking an investigation into the reported dumping by a contractor of the United States Navy of hazardous wastes on Subic Bay last month.
“The government should investigate this alarming report immediately. Such activity, if indeed it took place, could prove to be an environmental disaster,” Escudero said.
“If its proven that Glen Defense Marine Asia had indeed dumped hazardous wastes on Subic Bay, they should immediately be made to dispose of the wastes properly as mandated by our environmental laws and international ecological standards and pay for all damages,” the senator added.
Escudero chairs the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.
Reports said the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority is now investigating Glen Defense Marine Asia after it claimed one of the contractor’s vessels, the M/T Glenn Guardian, dumped wastes collected from US ships that participated in the recent joint military exercises in the Philippines.
Test results of water samples conducted by Subic Water and Sewerage Co. allegedly showed very high levels of toxicity. SWSC was contracted by SBMA to conduct the tests following the alleged dumping.
Escudero also wants the Department of Foreign Affairs to make representations to prevent similar incidents in the future.
Earlier, Glen Defense Marine Asia claimed through its lawyers that the SBMA had no jurisdiction to investigate it, invoking the Visiting Forces Agreement between the US and the Philippines.
“Our laws are clear on environmental protection, particularly Republic Act 9275 or The Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 if indeed hazardous wastes were dumped on Subic Bay,” the senator said.
“The main point that we need to determine at this point is whether hazardous wastes were dumped on Philippine waters and if so, how do we proceed to clean up, hold the contractor accountable, and make sure that such an incident does not take place again in the future,” Escudero added.