The Bureau of Customs is taking immediate action to transport tons of garbage back to South Korea which was imported and misdeclared as plastic synthetic flakes that arrived at the Mindanao International Container Port.
Customs spokesperson Erastus Austria said the more than 5,000 tons of rotting plastic and household wastes arrived in the country on Oct. 21, 2018 which was consigned to Verde Soco Philippines.
Austria met with officials of the environmental health and justice group EcoWaste Coalition, saying they already held talks with the South Korean government to fast- track the transport of waste shipments which came from Pyeongtaek City, South Korea.
Cagayan de Oro Port district Collector Floro Calixihan said that Minister Counselor Sunyoung Kim of the Embassy of Korea said that it would do its best to prevent the occurrence of similar incident in the future and to fully cooperate with the Philippine government to resolve the issue smoothly.
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero has likewise ordered an investigation on the matter.
Twice, Verde Soko brought into the country waste materials from South Korea.
The first time was when it imported a shipload containing 5,176.91 metric tons of various plastic and waste materials declared as plastic synthetic flakes and the second when it brought in 51 forty-footer containers also declared as plastic synthetic flakes.
"We will insist the Basel Convention of 1989 wherein malinaw po na sinasabi doon na any illegally trafficked waste should go back to the point of origin," Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said.