RE­TURN ALL TRASH TO SOUTH KO­REA, SAYS MISAMIS SOLON

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - REGIONS - —RE­PORTS FROM DIVINA SUSON AND JIGGER JERUSALEM

TAGOLOAN, MISAMIS ORI­EN­TAL— Rep. Juli­ette Uy on Mon­day de­manded that the re­main­ing 5,100 met­ric tons of mostly plas­tic trash from South Ko­rea be re­turned to that coun­try be­fore the end of this month.

While ex­press­ing ela­tion over the re­turn on Sun­day of 1,400 MT of the garbage in 51 con­tain­ers to South Ko­rea, Uy said what was shipped back was but “just a small part of the big­gest waste dumped in this coun­try.”

“All, not just part or some of the to­tal garbage ship­ments stored at Min­danao In­ter­na­tional Con­tainer Ter­mi­nal (MICT), should be re­turned. All of it. There should be no gray area in this re­gard,” she said.

The plas­tic trash, im­ported by a com­pany whose busi­ness is into re­cy­cling, ar­rived last year at the MICT in Tagoloan town, Misamis Ori­en­tal prov­ince.

The ship­ments were held by au­thor­i­ties after the Bureau of Cus­toms and the En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Bureau al­legedly found Verde Soko Philip­pines In­dus­trial Corp. to have vi­o­lated the laws when it im­ported the plas­tics from Pyeong­taek City, South Ko­rea.

Ac­count­abil­ity

After a meet­ing last month, Philip­pine and South Korean gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials agreed to re­turn the trash to its coun­try of ori­gin.

Uy also said she would “pur­sue ac­count­abil­ity and ad­dress prob­lems in our gov­ern­ment pol­icy, op­er­a­tions and pro­ce­dures that al­low the im­por­ta­tion of solid waste.”

She joined an­other law­maker, Rep. Fred­er­ick Siao of Ili­gan City, in call­ing for a con­gres­sional in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the garbage ship­ment.

She also asked Cus­toms Dis­trict Col­lec­tor Floro Cal­ix­i­han to ex­plain why he ap­proved its un­load­ing in Misamis Ori­en­tal.

Ear­lier, Siao said the dump­ing vi­o­lated the laws on solid waste man­age­ment, cus­toms tar­iff and the in­ter­na­tional agree­ment known as the Basel Con­ven­tion on the Con­trol of Trans- boundary Move­ments of Haz­ardous Waste and their Dis­posal.

Strong mes­sage

The in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­men­tal group Green­peace said the re­turn of the garbage to South Ko­rea sent “a very strong mes­sage to the world that the Philip­pines is not a dump­ing ground, and to­gether, Filipinos are fight­ing plas­tic pol­lu­tion.”

It also sent a mes­sage to de­vel­oped coun­tries “to stop putting their re­spon­si­bil­ity onto other na­tions for their own plas­tics prob­lem,” said An­gel­ica Pago, me­dia cam­paigner of Green­peace South­east Asia-Philip­pines.

FI­NAL IN­SPEC­TION ABureau of Cus­toms of­fi­cial in Misamis Ori­en­tal prov­ince in­spects one of the con­tain­ers loaded with trash be­fore it is shipped back to South Ko­rea.

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