SoKor govt to help return waste in CDO port

In the midst of the Canadian government`s delay in retrieving the 100 containers of waste siezed at the Manila port 5years ago, the South Korean government has committed to help ship back to its country some 5,176 metric tons (MT) of waste materials illegally imported here last year and currently stored at the PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority premises in Misamis Oriental.

Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said in his report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III that the waste materials, consisting of plastic synthetic flakes, were unlawfully imported by the Cebu-based Verde Soko Philippines Industrial Corp. in July and October last year.

An Order of Forfeiture and Order of Re-Exportation were issued by the Port of Cagayan De Oro (CDO) against these waste materials, which arrived here in bulk and containerized shipments, Guerrero said in his report.

“The Korean government has expressed its commitment in collaborating with the Philippine government to execute the repatriation of these materials should Verde Soko fail to follow the Notice of Repatriation Order which it issued, and its willingness to shoulder the shipping cost without the arrastre and demurrage charges,” Guerrero said.

Guerrero said a separate shipment of 51x40 container vans of waste materials were loaded on the cargo vessel MV Kalireo last Jan. 13 and left for South Korea the following day.

The remaining 5,176.9 MT of waste materials still stored at the Verde Soko compound within the PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority premises in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental will soon be balled and compacted to prepare them for shipment back to South Korea, Guerrero added.

He said in his report that “The Port of CDO District Collector informed that PHIVIDEC has already applied for power supply with the Cagayan de Oro Electric Power Light Company (CERALCO) in order that the Balling and Compacting Machine, which are already in place, can be used in the compacting and bagging of the waste materials prior to their shipment to Korea.”

Manila and Seoul are signatories to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal--more popularly referred to as the Basel Convention--designed to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between nations, and specifically to prevent transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries.