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Trash from Australia to be sent back, Locsin says

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Monday said the trash from Australia would be returned, even if the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said they are engineered fuel used by cement factories.

"O, by the way, the garbage from Australia, that's going back too. No, I don't give a flying f**k that it is used in making cement," Locsin tweeted

"If that is so cement makers should formally import the ingredient so it goes nowhere but to their plants," he added.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) intercepted last month seven container vans with shredded municipal waste from Australia at the Mindanao Container Terminal in Misamis Oriental.

The shipment was declared as processed engineered fuel (PEF) and municipal waste. Its consignee was Holcim Philippines Inc.

For its part, Holcim said that PEF was made from processed trash and is used as an alternative fuel in producing cement.

"For us, this is really not garbage. This is low-grade fuel, this is processed engineered fuel," Alan Cuyno, technical manager of the Holcim Philippines Inc., said.

Meanwhile, Muntinlupa Representative Ruffy Biazon also commented on Locsin's social media post and clarified that the intercepted shipment was formally imported by Holcim.

"Sec[retary], per information during a recent hearing in Congress, it was imported formally by Holcim. BOC contested the declaration which was Processed Engineered Fuel (PEF), saying it was domestic waste based on the smell. DENR said they can test to confirm," Biazon said.

Locsin replied to Biazon and said that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will not "sign off" on the matter.

"DFA won't sign off on it. Not our business. It becomes our business when those whose business it is f*ck up again; then we pick the sh*t and send it back. But I certainly won't sign off on sh*t," he said. —Dona Magsino/KBK, GMA News