Cebu port inspection for hazardous materials ordered following Beirut blasts

Published August 6, 2020, 2:31 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY—Cebu Third District Rep. Pablo John Garcia has called on port and Customs authorities to inspect all warehouses and storage facilities in Cebu that could be keeping hazardous materials.

          Garcia’s call came after the twin explosions in Beirut that have killed more than 100 people and injured at least 3,000.

It has been reported that 2,750 tons of explosive material seized by the Lebanese government years ago had been stored in the blast site for six years.       

          “This tragedy from across the world could be an eye-opener. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families. Their deaths and injuries should at least not be in vain,” Garcia said. 

          He said the contents of storage facilities in port areas, where many seized cargo and container vans are kept for months, even years, could be a cause for concern. 

Without a proper inventory and identification, these goods may pose a risk to the safety of Cebu, a passenger and cargo hub that just recently re-opened, Garcia added.

          Acting on Garcia’s call, Police Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro, chief of the Police Regional Office Central Visayas, directed the Regional Civil Security Group to ensure that everything is in order in storage facilities of magazines and explosive materials.

“They are regularly checking the storage. These explosives and initiators are stored separately because it is dangerous to store them together in one place,” said Ferro.