Subic waste not hazardous, says US Navy contractor

PHILIPPINES - The head of the Philippine office of a US Navy contractor on Monday disputed claims by government agencies that it dumped into Subic Bay toxic wastes from American ships that recently took part in joint military exercises in the country.

Five days after the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported the environment issue, retired Vice Adm. Mateo Mayuga, CEO of Glenn Defence Marine Philippines Inc., called reports about the company dumping hazardous wastes into the bay "inaccurate or false."

Mayuga said the local office of a Singapore-based multinational company operating in 27 countries handled domestic wastes from the toilets and kitchens of US Navy ships, but, according to him, these were safe for disposal.

"What we get from the US Navy are already pretreated wastewater. These are even cleaner than the ones coming out of our respective homes. I'm sorry to say that," Mayuga told reporters Monday at a press briefing in Makati City.

Roberto Garcia, chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), earlier told reporters that test results showed that Glenn Defence vessels were carrying "sewage waste with high levels of toxicity."

Garcia said the results "confirmed that [Glenn Defence] did not treat the waste, which it should have."

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