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Subic firm suspended

But US Navy contractor cleared of ‘toxic’ rap

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The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has suspended the operations of a US Navy contractor that is undergoing investigation for dumping hazardous waste into Philippine waters.

After a meeting on Friday, the SBMA board decided to suspend the operations of Glenn Defense Marine Asia Philippines Inc.

The board, however, reiterated its position that no toxic, hazardous, or domestic waste was dumped into Subic Bay.

Word of the SBMA board’s announcement dismayed Sen. Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate foreign relations committee that jointly investigated the waste dumping with the committee on environment and natural resources.

Legarda said in a phone interview on Friday that SBMA administrator Roberto Garcia and the head of the SBMA Ecology Center claimed at the hearing that toxic waste was dumped into the bay.

Having determined the dumping from the two officials, the joint investigation concluded that Glenn Defense violated Philippine environmental law, not only by dumping hazardous waste into Philippine waters but also by dumping without government permission.

“It was clearly established that there was dumping of toxic waste,” Legarda said.

“How can they turn their back after the hearing? Let’s just see what’s on record. The Senate will come out with its recommendations by the end of the month,” she said.

Legarda said she suspected “lobbying” to save Glenn Defense from accountability.

Other contractors too

Garcia said the SBMA, on Nov. 17, suspended Glenn Defense’s collection and disposal of ship sewage in the sea using sea vessels.

Garcia said the order disallowing vessels to haul and dump waste into waters in the high seas also “applies to all other waste service contractors” in the free port.

“After securing the necessary permits as is presently required from SBMA for land-based disposal of sewage, all such sewage is to be collected directly from the ship at the pier and transported by accredited land-based haulers to be treated in accredited waste treatment plants,” Garcia said.

In the SBMA statement, Garcia also clarified that there was “no evidence that toxic, hazardous or domestic waste had been dumped [into] the waters of Subic Bay.”

But Garcia did not explain how the SBMA came to that conclusion.

In a press conference on Nov. 9, Garcia told reporters that the results of tests on water samples taken from Glenn Defense vessels showed that the water carried “sewage waste with high levels of toxicity.”

Garcia said the results “confirmed that [Glenn Defense] did not treat the waste, which it should have.”

In an interview on ANC on Nov. 13, Garcia confirmed the information when asked by “Headstart” anchor Karen Davila.

“Yes . . . it was the waste that was collected. And if you test the waste, of course, it will have high levels of, well, toxicity, if you call [it] that. And the levels referred to oxygen, etc., these are technical terms… fish will not survive in that because it’s concentrated,” Garcia said.

When asked by Davila whether the sample was “toxic waste,” he said: “No, because there are two definitions. That’s the problem on toxic waste. If you go to the dictionary, it means wastes that can cause death or [are] injurious to human health, and this will include nuclear waste, chemical waste and other hazardous materials. This is sewage, which is, you know, basically human wastes.”

The Subic Water and Sewerage Co., which was contracted by the SBMA to conduct the tests, did not test the samples for heavy metals because it was not equipped to do so.

Toxic wastes defined

Republic Act No. 6969, or the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Control Act of 1990, defines hazardous wastes as “substances that are without any safe commercial, industrial, agricultural or economic usage and are shipped, transported or brought from the country of origin for dumping or disposal into or in transit through any part of the territory of the Philippines.”

“Hazardous wastes shall also refer to by-products, side-products, process residues, spent reaction media, contaminated plant or equipment or other substances from manufacturing operations, and as consumer discards of manufactured products,” it says.

Wastes are considered hazardous if they are listed under the Classification of Prescribed Hazardous Wastes, which groups substances as wastes with cyanide, acid waste, alkali wastes, wastes with inorganic chemicals, reactive chemical wastes, waste organic solvent, oil, containers, immobilized wastes and organic chemicals, the law says.

Toxic wastes are substances that are poisonous and have carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic effects on human or other life forms.

RA 9275, the Clean Water Act of 2004,  defines hazardous waste as “any waste or combination of wastes of solid liquid, contained gaseous, or semisolid form which cause, or contribute to, an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible, or incapacitating reversible illness, taking into account toxicity of such waste, its persistence and degradability in nature, its potential for accumulation or concentration in tissue, and other factors that may otherwise cause or contribute to adverse acute or chronic effects on the health of persons or organism.”

In an earlier statement, Hernan Habacon, spokesperson for Subic Water, said the sample sent by the SBMA Ecology Center for testing came from a Glenn Defense vessel, the MT Glenn Guardian.

Beyond limits

“We tested it for domestic strength only, and the results showed that it was beyond the permissible limits. The sample is of industrial strength,” Habacon said.

“The result we sent to SBMA Ecology Center therefore is not conclusive whether the sample is toxic or not. But as per our standards, the sample was not fit for release in the environment as the organic content was beyond the permissible limits,” he said.

Retired Vice Adm. Mateo Mayuga, Glenn Defense chief executive officer, earlier claimed that the US Navy pretreated ship waste and that it was dumped into waters beyond Philippine territory.

But the US Navy, which is also investigating the waste dumping, said the waste was not pretreated. It said it had no treatment equipment or facility aboard its ships.

Garcia, in the SBMA statement on Friday, said the ship sewage, which he described as “domestic waste,” was discharged by Glenn Defense in the West Philippine Sea, “far away from Subic Bay.”

He said the dumping area was approximately 32 kilometers from land “in the high seas, well beyond the 22 km minimum limit for sewage discharge set by the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships.”

Clear violation

After the Senate hearing on Wednesday, Legarda said it was clear that Glenn Defense “violated government regulations on various fronts,” including failure to secure a dumping permit from the Philippine Coast Guard.

“It was very clear that Glenn Defense Marine [Philippines] violated our regulations when it did not get a dumping permit from the Coast Guard,” Legarda said.

“Maybe there are other contractors too who are committing the same violation,” she said.

Legarda said a resource person from the Subic Ecology Center, whose name she did not disclose, “confirmed that the high toxicity levels of the water samples secured from MT Glenn Guardian could harm marine resources.”

She said her committee’s report would try to “pinpoint accountabilities and, if warranted, recommend penalties against those who may have violated Philippine laws and regulations.” With a report from Cathy C. Yamsuan

 First posted 11:45 pm | Friday, November 23rd, 2012


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Tags: glenn defense marine asia Philippines inc. , hazardous waste , Loren Legarda , SBMA , Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority , toxic waste


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VPSXDLCQEZGZDJSX32G7PYHNCI Noel

    Just suspension and not cancel the contract ?  It’s similar to influential bus companies that despite repeated violations resulting in death of many passenger are only suspended then back to the road after a few weeks.  

  • edm365f31

    The corruption tentacles still alive and healthy in Philippine politics; lobbyist and money exchange hands to come to this conclusion. A widely publicized case like this and come up with a minor penalty;  you can just imagine what happens to those cases that are not publicized.

  • Pedro_Gil

    ano ito? suspension lang ba? paano naman ang criminal liability ng mga opisyal ng kumpanyang ito o pag cancel ng kontrata? mukhang mahusay ang paguusap ng dalawang panig kasama ang sbma. mukhang hindi alam ng sbma ang kanyang dapat gawin (protektahin ang kapakanan ng kalikasan, bayan, at mamamayan). paano ang damages dito. di ba sila magbabayad? nakakatawa ito. akala yata ng sbma na kaya nila laging lokohin ang taong bayan. Ang tanong dito eh.. magkano ba? Dapat lang palitan ang mga namumuno ng sbma kung hindi nila alam gawin ang tama. ALIS!!.

  • salomeahmad

    Same old story in PH. The lady politician for media mileage. Port authorities hinde na balatuhan.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LLPTRPFUTYJXKI3KJS4B2UO4LI Jim De Garman

    these SBMA officials are ignorant making a mockery with the evidences they presented to the senate during investigation..after suspending Glenn Defense they still has to add insult to injury by affirming no toxic, hazardous wastes was dumped in Subic bay..these board members should immediately resign, hang their neck to remove their shameful act against the people.

  • batangsulpok

    Bakit di nila suspendihin din ang mga kompanyang nagpo-pollute sa palibot ng Metro-Manila na araw-araw ay nagtatapon ng maruruming basura?

  • kayanatwo

    24nov2012

    nobody asked me, but….garcia only proved that by handing a mere suspension of operation to the glenn marine defense asia made the SBMA complex to appears in collusion with contractor who managed to get the contract to perform third party service.

    the question of for how long did the mt glenn guardian was dumping illegally into the sea in close proximity to subic bay the raw sewage it has collected from all the ships it serviced should be a part of the investigation? and why only now that “the stinks” finally smelled out and who are behind the whistle blowing? and what are reasons or motives behind the whistle blowing?

    the SBMA management has a lot of explaining to do to the public about their foul smelling of doing business behind close door.

  • $18209031

    Hoy, mga ungass na kayumangmangs. Since this involved a lot of money the reason why they try to present a more or less evil picture. Wala daw pinag dump sa Subic Bay. At suspension lang, ganon lang ba ? 

    Dapat full barring of this company to ply on Philippine Waters. Blacklist this company for everyone to know. This is not the first and last, this company was doing it like the proverbial dumping ground once they siphon the shzt waste into their tanks. This is direct violation of what they are supposed to do  , that is, to protect the environment. 

    This Malayo Company is violatiing all norms of environmental protection. And maybe they are so big head they feel they can get away with it. To Sen Legarda, if you let the Senate be swayed by these criminals, then it is the end of Pinas. The shzthole whoever wants it to be.

    • rezli

      puso mo gringo….

    • Marx Louis Wang

      yah, bicus we have shzthole, we can be easily fak and that include AFPako.

  • LAMBFORGOVERNOR

    If this American firm is guilty then burn this firm and not America.

  • anton kinuton

    sabi ng sbma, walang dumping of hazardous waste sa subic bay, bakit suspended sila? kung ang dumping is outside the subic bay waters, sino ang may authority over this glenn defense? is it the denr? i think ang ginagawa ng gobyerno is they are charging this glenn defense for a lesser offense para hindi na ma-charge sa mas malaking violation nila. sbma owe the public the reason behind their conclusion that there was no dumping of hazardous wast sa subic bay. what test/s sbma made before making this conclusion? the govt after suspending the operation, charge the officers and owners, impose a fine and then imprison the guilty.

  • jr_06498

     US Navy, said the waste
    was not pretreated. It said it had no treatment equipment or facility
    aboard its ships.That means this Retired Vice Adm. Mateo Mayuga is a lier. Shame on you! Is that the reason why you reach the rank of Vice Admiral because you are expert in  lying.
    And what kind of statement of yours? Your saying that the water you are dumping is cleaner than what we are using everyday? Is that the reason why you became a good lier for the sake of the company you are serving. And what suspension SBMA were talking about? Do not let these company to use their money covering the eyes of Filipino government official.

  • Patotz

    Wait! Bakit suspension lang yung pataw sa kanila?? Dapat termination na or more than that! Di ata tama to ah!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BAXWWNXSVO455JEXZZELJXEGBI Gene

    That’s kinda disappointing! How can they let this slip away. I’m sure Miriam, Loren and the others will do something about this. Go senators! Di pa tapos ang laban.

  • $18209031

    Malayo s been dumping shzt in South China Sea since God knows when.   PLAN ships must now stop vessels and ban them from plying these waters. Instead of protecting the environment , they are shzting it . Walang hiya itong mga ganggung na to.

    • rezli

      puso mo gringo.. si sir mayuga di niya inutos na itapon ang dumi sa subic..hehehe…

    • Marx Louis Wang

      I thought you are Malayo? and not kayumangmang or kayumanggi.

  • Memerazzi

    wait no confuse ako ng kaunti, if di sila guilty, why is there suspension. I hope the investigation continues pa. Para di yata kasi tama ito.

  • mangTASYO

    Inquirer Moderator — bakit naman mga comments ko laging kailangan ang approval niyo?

  • mangTASYO

    Inquirer Moderator – Should you wish to edit my comment, please do so, but wag i-DELETE totally.  Anuba yan….

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NMRYT23YM5MMAI6MA7XWTJ6AEA Jane

    I think termination ang pinakamagandang gawin sa kanila. Naku, di pupwedeng suspension lang! Hey hey hey!  These guys dumped wastes on our territory and that’s not a good thing. I hope they review this decision!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2YAYHPL4WJCO4FGRTUY56DUSNU maria

    Is suspension enough? 

  • Chicharot

    di ko ata inexpect to ha?I though okay na kasi naquestion na sila mabuti at na corner na si Mayuga. Sana lang na yung suspension na yan ay ‘first’ step palang at next time masbibigat na

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GG4T5UNZ3P7SCHSRNJ7PF5JZMM Jimmy

    Pagmultahin agad yang Glenn defense contractor ng milyon milyong piso at si roberto garcia ay tanggalin sa pwesto….! Walang kwentang SBMA board yan kung sasabihin nilang walang dumi na itinapon sa dagat..!!! Lahat ng miyembro ng board ay dalhin sa barko ng glenn defense at ipahimod sa kanila lahat yong mga dumi (feces)…!!!!!! 

  • ddano

    Pati T@E pinagkakakitaan na ngayon ng mga hayupak! Kung hindi toxic yung mga T@E ng mga kano , Ipakain dun sa mga miembro ng SBMA board ! At bakit  nila sinususpinde yung Glen Defense eh hindi naman pala nag dump ng toxic waste ?  Kurtado ng T@E and mga utak nitong mga miembro ng SBMA board, pero puno ng mga bulsa ng tong mula kay Glen D.

  • farmerpo

    The term ‘magkano?’ seems to pop up in everybody’s mind every time there is a controversy like this toxic waste issue.  They way it sounds, a compromise was arrived at. Human waste or any wastes should not be dumped in any body of water. It should be treated and disposed of in treated form not in its raw form. It is elementary, but not necessarily convenient, especially to some people with the mentality of urinating anywhere, anytime. Mabaho, pero di ka naman mamamatay diyan….

  • http://www-blogjosemig200905com.blogspot.com/ Jose Miguel Garcia

    Now that the waste collector is suspended, will the dumping of wastes inside our archipelago now also be suspended?  If so, will that mean suspension of the production of waste?  But since particular activities always produce corresponding particular wastes, waste production cannot be suspended, then where will the wastes be dumped this time?

  • Marx Louis Wang

    The hurt is done. Suspend them later let them go? What’s the point? They should pay for the damages it can cause. The damages should be evaluated and maybe it can cause billions of dollar.  What do they thing about Philippine waters? Dumping ground? 

  • http://twitter.com/Joe_The_Kano Joe Kano

    There never was any allegation of dumping into Subic Bay, there has been no credible investigation of dumping outside the bay, the worst that can be said is that the company lacked a permit that is available, PDI’s “reporting” has been despicable from the start, the political posturing has been even worse, and none of this was ever rooted in a genuine concern for the environment.

    And S hit River just keeps on flowing along.

  • gregory robinson

    Spot on, test results not even in and this big mouth politician doesn’t have anything else to do with no genuine concern for the environment.

  • Mikologne

    “It was very clear that Glenn Defense Marine [Philippines] violated our regulations when it did not get a dumping permit from the Coast Guard,” Legarda said.
    I think madami talaga na violate yung Glenn Defense dito and for me, kulang yung suspension lang. Pati nga termination ng contract nila, kulang pa din yun. 

  • miiimiiiiiing

    ……yun lang! kala ko pa naman good news na mangyayar dito sa case na ito pero hindi pala….nakuw nakuw! dapat ipagpatuloy pa din investigation…..miiiimiiiiing!….

  • shotgunjames

    Di satisfied mga pinoy sa ‘Suspension’ e! I’m sure di pa matatapos dito yan at hahahanap pa din evidence yung govt natin against them. DI sila pwede makalusot dito na basta basta lang! Pagbayarin natin ang mga yan

  • joegaga

    Anlinaw na nga na violation yan e….Ano kayang hocus pocus na naman ginawa ni Mayuga dito? Siya talaga punot dulo nito e. Ikulong na yan! 

  • Bengatibo

    Why suspension lang??? The contractor clearly violated Philippine Environmental Law. They should be imposed to pay a fine for the Violation. Taasan nila ang penalty so others will not do it. It will be a deterrent to others who are doing it and not getting caught. O siguro nagkabayaran na at naibulsa na ang bayad??? Tanong ko lang??? 

  • Pablo Juan

    Senator Legarda well and good.. pero huwag lang masigasig tuwing elections ok?  

  • Albert Einstien

    SUSPENDED? why NOT cancelled …it will just repeat & repeat dumping.when nobody is looking…..tsk tsk

  • divictes

    Naughty… naughty… No desert for one week.

  • DarkSideOfTheMoon2

    a lot of factories along Pasig River “secretly” dump their s%$#  regularly and they get away with it…

    • romeyo chill

      And then children enjoy bathing there!

    • kismaytami

      That’s why most factories here in PH are built near bodies of water. They need something to dump their waste without spending a dime.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VAYYSSDRZ5FGDBYOF7ZNTQT6CE ricardo

    the courts, not SBMA, should try the case and mete out the penalty. suspension is too light–and obviously a negotiated (inareglo) penalty. there is clear criminal liability here, and responsible officers and individuals should go to jail and made to pay stiff fines and damages. the cost on the environment is incalculable!

  • TheGUM

    Kaya walang galang ang ibang bansa sa Pilipinas, dahil sa katangahan at kagaguhan ng mga opisyales ng gobyerno.  Nag testify na toxic tapos gagawa ng desisyon na hindi daw toxic ang tinapon sa dagat.

    Senador Legarda, binabastos lang ang imbestigasyon ginawa ng senado.  Huwag mong payagan ito.  Kung pitik lang sa kamay ang parusa walang mangyayari sa kalikasan ng Pilipinas.  Basura duon, basura dito, puro lason ang mapupunta sa lupa at tubig ng bansa natin.

    • kismaytami

      Moro-moro lang naman kasi yung imbestigasyon diyan sa senado. Remeber, malapit na ang eleksiyon, kelangan umepal nang todo ng mga kandidato.

  • JIMBOYPALABOY

     administrator garcia, magkano ba nakuha mo? pres Penoy mukhang hindi uso ang daan matuwid sa subic. kumilos ka . o kabarilan mo rin si admistrator garcia.

  • joboni96

    ‘US Navy contractor cleared of ‘toxic’ rap’

    para i clear ang u.s. imperialist navy at

    after 1 month
    tuloy ang pagbabasurero ng
    former navy chief

    maraming toxic materials
    sa mga u.s. warships

    kaya binenta ng mura yong hamilton cutter
    sa navy

    instead of expensive u.s. decommissioning

  • $26606290

    ….at ang mga bahay bahay na nagsisiga ng basura araw araw, smoke belchers…..

  • Jack Phalaphitac

    Abnormal. No toxic, hazardous, or domestic waste was dumped in Subic bay. So, what is the problem? Why suspend the operation of Glenn Defense? If there was no violation, there should be no penalty. It really defies logic. Unless,  Garcia and company wants another round of talk to lift the suspension.  Another round of talk means another sack full of money. Another sack full of money means another a**hole getting off the hook. We are being taken for a ride. For a change, why don”t we take these idiots for a ride in one of Manila police patrol cars.  Pretty sure they will finally realize we ain’t that dumb.

  • kismaytami

    Suspended but not guilty… Hmmm… pwede sila tumakbo sa korte para makapag-operate uli. Huwag lang kalimutan magdala ng MONEY MONEY MONEY.

  • eltee mulawin

    >>> Ang pinag-uusapan ay waste mula sa mga barko, PAANO NAMAN ANG MGA HUMAN WASTE NA NAIIPON SA LOOB NG AIRPLANE LALO NA ANG MGA COMMERCIAL AIRPLANE O PASSENGERS MALALAYO ANG PINANGGAGALINGAN LUGAR? PAANO NILA DINI-DISPOSED AT SAAN LUGAR ITINATAPON? Sana maiparating kay Ms Legarda ang tanong na ito ni Mr. Gonzaga ng Inquirer.

  • Katarata

    I wish that this suspension is just a first step then eventually mabigay na din ang dapat na parusa sa kanya.Mali ang ginawa nya and dapat talaga syang maparusahan kasama ang glenn defense.

  • Albabalu

    What they did was and punishable by law, i agree with the suspension thing but they should be given more punishment. They dont realize what they did with the marine life in our sea. I agree with this: Republic Act No. 6969, or the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Control Act of 1990, defines hazardous wastes as “substances that are without any safe commercial, industrial, agricultural or economic usage and are shipped, transported or brought from the country of origin for dumping or disposal into or in transit through any part of the territory of the Philippines.”

  • MariePalmer

    nakakapanggigil talaga yang si mayuga!!!! sana madagdagan pa ang parusa kanya kasama ang mga kampon nyang Glenn defense! naku mabuti na lang at hindi pinapabayan ng mga ilang senador natin yan,dahil kung hindi magpapatuloy pa yang mga kolokoy na yan!

  • meowawaw

    This is issue has been running for almost couple of weeks, lets just trust our government. im sure they’re working on something to resolve this matter and give the righ punishment for the people who did this.

  • Tortillos

    naniniwala ako na mabibigyan din ng tamang kaparusahan yan si mayuga, nahuli na naman ang gumawa nyan, panigurado wala ng ligtas yan. sa dami ba naman ng mga environmentalist na nagmamalasakit sa dagat natin hindi malabong mabigyan yan ng mabigat na parusa.

  • Horst Manure

    Strange how they get caught and  harassed yet it is ok for local’s to throw plastic, dirty diapers, rubbish, junk, trash, garbage and any thing else they can lift into any river. 

  • Batz61

    SBMA kumain na ng BALIMBING at nagpahugas na ng toxic waste para ma WHITE WASH na ang kaso. Tsk tsk tsk

  • noypisiTED

    Show some gravitas men. Don’t just suspend, revoke Glenn’s permit to operate not just in Subic but the entire country to deliver the message we don’t tolerate enemies of the environment here in our shores. 

  • -XO-

    The chances of  Glenn Defense Marine Asia Philippines Inc. getting more USN contracts is that of a snowflake in Hell. It can’t survive if it has to process the garbage it contracts to accept, except of course if it can dump it all on the way home. 

    What I can’t understand is how it took the regulatory authorities so long to do anything about this. Were they blinded by the gold braid of the owners of the company? 

  • Luiting

    What a shame for the management of Glenn Defense Marine Asia Philippines, Inc. They underestimated the authority of our country when it comes to dumping of their waste. Now they know that there is a governing body which can be very rigid in implementing the pre-requisite for (any) vessels in “getting rid of  their shites”. 

    Go Sen. Legarda show these foreigners, our country has modern leaders that will carry on rules for the welfare of our environment



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