SIXTY container vans of illegal South Korean waste stranded in Tagoloan, Misamis Orietnal since 2018 were officially shipped back to its source yesterday.
The send-off organized by the Bureau of Customs-Region 10 was witnessed by over 35 representatives from the EcoWaste Coalition, Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS) and the Sustainable Davao Movement (SDM).
The ceremony took place at the Mindanao International Container Terminal.
Meanwhile, the groups called for greater vigilance against waste imports as they cheered the re-exportation of the remaining illegal South Korean waste shipments to their origin.
BOC-Region 10 Port Collector John Simon said the re-exportation of the falsely declared waste materials back to South Korea affirmed the country’s readiness and resolve to bring this dumping controversy to its just conclusion.
“To stop this incident from happening again, I add my voice to the growing clamor to upgrade and strengthen our legal defense against waste dumping, including ratifying the Basel Ban Amendment,” said Simon.
Chinkie Peliño-Golle, Executive Director of Davao City-based IDIS, said the dumping controversy and similar dumping incidents have reinforced the urgency of ratifying the Basel Ban Amendment and revising current regulations that permit waste imports into the country under the guise of “recycling.”
“Such wastes should be recycled, treated or disposed of in the country where such wastes were generated,” said EcoWaste Coalition national coordinator Aileen Lucero.
“While we pursue ecological solutions to our domestic garbage woes, we must tell South Korea and other countries to deal with their own wastes at home and stop exporting them to the Philippines and other Asian countries,” she added.
Dr. Joe DiGangi, Senior Science and Technical Advisory of the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN), which includeed IDIS and the EcoWaste Coalition among its members, said: “Korean waste should be managed in Korea and not dumped in the Philippines or anywhere else. This experience should nudge both countries to promptly ratify the Basel Ban Amendment.”
The groups stressed the need for a national ban on waste importation from all countries that will cover all wastes, including household and plastic wastes, as the Basel Ban Amendment is focused mainly on hazardous waste shipments from developed countries.