The Bureau of Customs is calling for volunteers to repack garbage from South Korea, which is still dumped at the Verde Soko plant in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, since 2018.
Of the 5,000 tonnes of waste, only about 20% are repackaged to return to South Korea.
A statement from the Kalikasan-People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE) said that in “June 2018, a cargo ship full of mixed waste arrived at the Mindanao International Container Terminal in Tagaloan, Misamis Oriental. It was consigned to a Korean company, Verde Soko II Philippine Industrial Corporation.”
On November 22, 2018, the South Korean embassy in the Philippines released a statement saying it would “take measures to have the wastes in question be brought back to Korea as soon as possible.”
“The Ministry of Environment on November 21 initiated legal procedure to have the wastes in question in the Philippines be brought back in accordance with Article 20 of the Law on Cross-border Movement and Disposal of Wastes – Prior Notice of Repatriation Order – and embarked on investigation of the violation of Article 18-2 of the said law – False Export Declaration,” the statement reads.
Customs ask for volunteers to repack 5,000 tons of garbage from South Korea
John Simon, Port Collector at the Mindanao International Container Terminal (MICT), announced January 9, is the target date for the return of the trash shipment to Pyeongtaek City in South Korea.
“We expect the 51 garbage-filled containers stored at MICT to be homebound by January 9, provided that all regulatory requirements are readily available. Their expedited re-export is what BOC wants, and this is what our people are yearning for,” he said.
Aileen Lucero, EcoWaste Coalition National Coordinator, called for “the adoption of stringent policies to prevent their recurrence, including a crackdown on the importation of plastic waste.”
“We need to act decisively to protect our country from turning into a global dump for plastics and other wastes that China no longer wants,” Lucero added.