The Ecowaste Coalition on Wednesday assured the public that the 6,500 metric tons of plastic and waste materials illegally shipped in container vans will be brought back to South Korea as soon as possible.
At a news conference in Quezon City, Aileen Lucero, national coordinator of Ecowaste Coalition, said South Korea will take back the first batch of wastes on Jan. 9.
“After a bilateral meeting between the Philippines and South Korea last Dec. 27 in Cagayan de Oro, both agreed to send back the 51 containers of the trash to Korea,” she told the Manila Standard.
She said their group, shipping agencies, the Bureau of Customs and other stakeholders attended the meeting.
“The second batch will be shipped back to Korea after a month. Right now, the repacking of the wastes is ongoing in Barangay Sta. Cruz since the trash is scattered all around the place,” she said.
“It’s definite. The wastes will be re-exported,” she added.
The report was also confirmed by the Bureau of Customs.
“The 51 garbage-filled containers stored at MICT is scheduled to depart Mindanao by January 9 provided that all regulatory requirements are readily available,” MICT port collector John Simon said.
The re-exportation would cost both the Philippines and South Korea at least P2,493,869.40.
The Bureau of Customs in Region 10 said that the first shipment of over 5,100 metric tons of wastes from Pyeongtaek City in South Korea arrived at the Philippine Sinter Corp. port in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental on July 21, 2019.
The wastes were stored inside the Verde Soko Philippines facility in Sitio Bugua, Barangay Sta. Cruz, Tagoloan in Misamis Oriental.
The second batch of trash in 51 container vans arrived at the Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan on Oct. 20 last year.
The Bureau of Customs withheld the wastes within the Phividec Industrial Estate complex.
The BOC said that the first shipment of imported garbage was intercepted by the bureau in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental last July 21 and another shipment at the MICP on Oct. 21.
The South Korean embassy in Manila said the company behind the shipment made a false declaration, saying they Korean government will take appropriate action against the company.
The shipmen was found to contain used plastic materials, used batteries, diapers and dextrose tubes, among other hospital waste.
Both the BOC and Korea Customs Service, which investigated the Korean exporter, said the documents for export were forged.
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