Loose assumption-A A +A
Slice of Life
Thursday, February 7, 2013
IT'S not enough that they encroached on the national territory and destroyed the protected marine area of Tubbataha reef, but they also continue to dump sewage wastes in our waters.
And as the United States Navy minesweeper USS Guardian ran aground on Tubbataha Reef and damaged the protected marine area, nothing is also expected in the waste dumping incident by US Navy contractor Glenn Defense Marine Asia in Subic Bay in October last year.
Like a whimpering dog, all that the country can do is watch and look the other way or call for pseudo investigation on the incident and waste time and resources figuring out why the tanker, MT Glenn Guardian, dumped the sewage wastes which it collects from US Navy ships in a non designated area or inquire why the minesweeper ran aground a protected marine site.
The US Navy, which is operating the ship supposedly bound for Indonesia after a port call in Subic, blamed a faulty navigation system that allegedly misplaced the reef on its map. This seems to be a ridiculous excuse given the availability of technology and means of communication to coordinate with environmental officials from the government.
Then again, it may not be a problem of coordination. Not even implementing arrangements under the Visiting Forces Agreement which some officials excitedly entered into, no matter what its implication may be.
Both of these incidents reflects the inability of the country to stand its ground and assert its sovereignty. If it refuses to stand up for its resources and its people, why blame other foreign countries from abusing it?
If it only asks for a "proper permit" and an environmental fee to let local and foreign vessels to dump wastes in designated coastal areas, then why fret when liters of sewage found to be in excess of toxicity standard set by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources are flushed out to the sea?
By mindlessly entering into agreements, we also opened up foreign intrusion in our waters and state of affairs. The assumption remains that government decision makers and representatives will uphold national interests over and above foreign agreements and interests. They have other plans though, watch and look away.
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Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 08, 2013.