Glenn Defense Liable for Dumping

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines --- The Senate committees on foreign relations and environment and natural resources said Glenn Defense Marine Asia should be made liable for dumping hazardous wastes in Subic Bay last October 2012 and recommended that the government file charges against Glenn Defense for its failure to comply with the country's environmental and marine protection laws and regulations.

Sen. Loren Legarda, chair of the foreign relations committee, which headed the Senate inquiry into the toxic wastes dumping incident, also debunked Glenn Defense's claims it is contracted by the US Navy to service its military ships and is covered by the US-Philippines Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

Legarda, in her 134-paged committee report, said Glenn Defense is actually a Philippine-registered company providing husbanding and relations services to visiting US ships contrary to its earlier assertions. The company, she said, is not operating vessels for the United States Armed Forces and its employees are not part of the US personnel as defined in the VFA.

"Glenn Defense is not covered by the VFA-These were false claims made by Glenn Defense to escape coverage from Philippine laws and regulations. It operates under a service agreement with Glenn Defense Marine (Asia) Pte Ltd, a private corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of Singapore," said Legarda.

"Glenn Defense, therefore, can be likened to a sub-contractor that is liable for any omission or violation it may have committed in the course of providing contracted services to US Navy ships," she said.

The committee report recommends that the government through the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, the Philippine Coast Guard and the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) to initiate administrative proceedings against Glenn Defense for its failure to comply with the country's environmental and marine protection laws and regulations and to impose the necessary penalties as warranted.

The company also failed to comply with the regulatory and permitting requirements of the government when it dumped around 200,000 liters of sewage waste in Philippine sea waters on Oct. 15, 2012.

Legarda said that in its report to the Senate, the PCG declared that "there is no record to show that subject vessel or the owner/operator of Glenn Defense Marine (Asia) Philippines Incorporated had forwarded any request for dumping or discharging of sewage waste" to the PCG.

"Glenn Defense, by practice, has been dumping sewage waste collected from US Navy ships into the seawaters over the years without permits from the government. A certification from Subic Water showed that from October 15 to November 19, 2012, more than 4 million liters of sewage were collected from just one US ship. Had it not been for the investigation, these wastes would have probably found its way again into our seawaters," Legarda said. …