Uy wants 880 overstaying containers inspected for imported trash

Published July 2, 2019, 10:03 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Ellson Quismorio

Smelling something amiss, Misamis Oriental 2nd district Rep. Juliette Uy is prodding the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to open to inspection some 880 out of the 6,985 overstaying containers in the country that have been identified by the Commission on Audit (COA).

Misamis Oriental 2nd District Rep. Juliette Uy (FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN)
Misamis Oriental 2nd District Rep. Juliette Uy (FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN)

Uy noted that as per COA, these 880 containers “may pose risk or hazard to the Port” where they have been overstaying.

“These 880 containers could very well contain garbage or hazardous materials illegally imported by their respective consignees. Remember, the garbage shipments in Tagoloan Port were discovered after they overstayed at the port,” Uy said, citing the latest 2018 COA report on Customs operations.

“Inter-agency teams with NGO (non-government organization) experts must be tasked to inspect these 880 containers,” stressed the Mindanao congresswoman.

Uy has been very wary of imported trash following her filing of House Resolution (HR) no.2317, which launched an inquiry in aid of legislation on the arrival of 6,000 metric tons of garbage to the country from South Korea last year.

The cargo was offloaded at the Mindanao International Container Terminal and left at the Verde Soko Phividec lot, which is located in her province of Misamis Oriental.

Uy said she had long suspected that imported garbage was being smuggled into the country not just through the Port of Tagoloan in Misamis Oriental, but in other ports as well.

“The smuggling activities…could not be done without connivance of insiders in the key agencies. As we have learned from the probe into the Tagoloan shipments, documents were doctored, collaborators let the shipments be unloaded, and insiders enabled the consignees,” the three-term solon said.

“The money trail and the document trail of each cargo container must be ascertained to identify the culprits, [so that we can] build criminal cases, file charges, and prosecute them in court,” Uy said.

Just before the close of the 17th Congress, Uy filed House Bill (HB) no.9207 or the proposed Total Ban on the Import and Export of Wastes Act of 2019. She called it a symbolic rejection against any further insults to the country’s national honor and violations of its environmental laws.

She vowed to refile the measure in the 18th Congress.