By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) could recommend the return of a shipment of garbage to South Korea if the contents are proven to be hazardous wastes.
Undersecretary for Solid Waste and Local Government Concerns Benny Antiporda said the DENR “do not want to prolong the issue,” as they promised to take swift action to deal with the tons of garbage shipped to the Philippines from South Korea.
The garbage shipment was discovered at the Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) in Misamis Oriental recently.
According to Antiporda, DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu wanted the matter “resolved as soon as possible.”
Through its Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), Antiporda said the DENR is now conducting a waste analysis and characterization study of the shipment that was wrongfully declared as “plastic synthetic flakes.”
He said “appropriate action” will be taken once the results of the study are released, possibly within this week.
If the contents of the shipment are found to be hazardous, Antiporda said the DENR will recommend its return to the country of origin, as well as the filing of administrative and criminal charges against those involved.
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, Misamis Oriental.
Containing about 5,100 tons of garbage, the shipment arrived at the MCT on board MV Affluent Ocean last July 21.