The United Nations Environment Programme commended the Bureau of Customs Port of Cagayan de Oro for its continued commitment to address global transboundary environmental crime.
The BoC Port of Cagayan de Oro recently re-exported more than 7,500 metric tons of illegally imported South Korean wastes last Aug. 4.
In a letter to District Collector John Simon dated Oct. 30, Dechen Tsering , UNEP regional director and representative for Asia and the Pacific, recognized the importance of international collaboration to disrupt environmental crime, advance the protection of the environment, and support cooperation between Customs and other agencies.
The UNEP serves as a secretariat to the Green Customs Initiative, an informal partnership of international organizations to prevent the illegal trade in environmentally sensitive commodities and substances and facilitate legal trade.
Tsering said that the full cooperation between the Korean government and the Philippine government resulted in the success of the operation.
Aside from the UNEP, the World Customs Organization , through Deputy Secretary General Ricardo Treviña Chapa, also congratulated the BoC for completing the return of the South Korean waste despite the ongoing global health crisis.
Simon underscored that the international recognition has elevated the efforts of the bureau in the area of global anti-smuggling.
The seizure of the Korean waste is considered the biggest volume of illegal waste apprehended in the Philippines.