Garbage from South Korea investigated

November 13, 2018
Trash - Bottles

CRIMINAL and administrative charges will be filed against those responsible for the shipment of tons of garbage from South Korea to the Philippines once the trash is found hazardous.

This is the warning issued by Benny Antiporda, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and LGU Concerns. The tons of garbage are now the subject of waste analysis and characterization study.

Antiporda said that the test is being conducted by the DENR’s Environment Management Bureau (EMB), which is expected to release the results this week.

DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu ordered the analysis of the garbage, which was declared as “plastic synthetic flakes.”

Initial findings showed that the shipment contained used dextrose tubes, used diapers, batteries, bulbs and electronic equipment.

The tons of garbage were shipped to the Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) in Misamis Oriental province.

“The secretary wanted the matter resolved as soon as possible. Hindi natin hahayaang humaba ang [isyung] ito,” Antiporda stressed.

He said “appropriate action” will be taken once the results of the study are released, possibly within this week.

Aside from the charges, Antiporda said the DENR will recommend the return of the shipment to the country of origin.

The shipment was consigned to South Korean company Verde Soko II Industrial Corp., which operates a 4.5 hectare waste recycling facility within the Phividec Industrial Estate in Tagoloan town.

Containing about 5,100 tons of garbage, the shipment arrived at the MCT on board MV Affluent Ocean last July 21.

Upon verification with the EMB, the shipment was not covered by any DENR-issued importation clearance. The consignee, Verde Soko, is not even registered as an importer of recyclable materials.

Under the DENR policy, registered importers are required to secure the necessary import clearances from the DENR at least 30 days before the actual importation.