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First batch of trash to be shipped back to S. Korea

Fifty-one containers filled with 1,500 metric tons of trash are set to be shipped back to South Korea from Misamis Oriental, according to a report by Athena Imperial on Balitanghali on Sunday.

The 51 are the first batch out of 200 containers of trash that will be re-exported to South Korea, while the rest were set to be shipped back this month.

More than 5,000 metric tons of trash were still stored in the compound of Verde Soko Philippines Industrial Corporation, the consignee of the garbage shipments.




The 51 containers of garbage arrived at the Mindanao International Container Terminal Port on October 21.

At the time, the Department of Natural Resources said that the shipment could have slipped through the Bureau of Customs by having their contents misdeclared.

The shipments were declared as containing synthetic plastic flakes, but the authorities discovered that garbage was included in the contents.

According to Mindanao International Container Terminal port collector John Simon, some of the waste was hazardous, and included syringes, diapers, and other hospital waste.

In a statement in November, South Korea promised to take back the waste "as soon as possible."

The Bureau of Customs also said that the South Korean government will shoulder the costs of transporting the garbage back to their country.

“By saying ‘no’ to garbage dumping from Korea and other countries, we say ‘no’ to the derogation of our country’s dignity and sovereignty, ‘no’ to the disrespect for national and international laws, and ‘no’ to the harm they will bring to our communities,” Aileen Lucero, national coordinator of environmental advocacy group Ecowaste Coalition, said in a press release.

In another statement, Simon said, “May our victory serve as a lesson to big nations that small nations like the Philippines can rise and fight for its right to have a clean environment free from the hazardous waste of the most powerful and industrialized nations of the world.” — Joviland Rita/BM, GMA News